Blog eDiscovery
August 17th

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly of the BYOD Takeover

Cat Casey
Cat Casey

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly of the BYOD Takeover

Many organizations thought they struck gold when the Bring Your Own Device (BYOD). It is little surprise that the BYOD revolution took off with such force, given the projections of as much as $3150 per employee in capital expenditure reduction by moving to a “comprehensive BYOD approach.”

Organizations with just a few hundred employees say potential savings are in the millions. Larger organizations, like Intel, boasted savings north of $700 Million at the beginning of the BYOD revolution in the early teens.

But, shortly after these boasts hit the news cycle, trouble came into paradise...

Much like the Clint Eastwood classic film "The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly," this story had its own wild twists and turns.

Hidden costs started cropping up like cacti in the desert. While unexpected risks emerged like bandits on the trail and the looming specter of cyber vulnerabilities clouded the bright BYOD sky. And that's not even counting the massive eDiscovery hurdles that came with this vast, untamed data terrain.

So, saddle up, partners, for a tech rodeo like no other!

Trouble in BYOD Paradise

Pretty shortly after the crazy hype and oh-so-rosy BYOD savings reports, some trouble came into BYOD Paradise. Preliminary savings were offset by total cost of ownership. From the operation of decentralized asset networks to massive privacy and discovery risks BYOD bandits were everywhere.

Time to unravel the tale of BYOD – the good, the bad, and the downright ugly.

BYOD, Penny Wise Pound Foolish

The promise of massive capital expenditure reduction was riding high until hitting a wall of the total cost of ownership. Hold onto your legal saddles, because I'm about to reveal the undercover costs that might just catch you off guard.

Hidden Costs Coyotes:

Ah, the elusive hidden costs! BYOD might seem like a money-saving magic trick but beware of those sneaky expenses lurking beneath the surface. Here comes the money train! BYOD promises cost savings through reduced hardware purchases, employee device ownership, and potential productivity boosts.

But don't yell eureka just yet - the actual savings might require a bit fancier footwork. Data breaches, lost devices, and unforeseen support needs can wreak havoc on your budget.

And while the cost to set up a user may be lower than the purchase of a physical device, when they exit that is a whole different animal. When someone bids adieu to your legal lair, you've got to ensure they're not taking confidential info on their personal gadgets. Cue the exit strategy costs – legal advice, data erasure tools, or maybe even negotiation for safe separations.

The cost to safeguard the myriad of disparate devices can add up too. Anticipated savings might lead you to underestimate the need for robust security investments. Let's face it, data protection is non-negotiable, and cutting corners could leave you up a creek without a paddle.

Dastardly Data Security and Privacy Risks:

Ah, the big bad wolf of BYOD challenges! The risk of data breaches and unauthorized access to sensitive info skyrockets when employees bring their own devices to the eDiscovery party. Time to strengthen those digital walls!

And we do not merely have to worry about security risks from nefarious hackers. Personal devices with subpar security measures and lax personal data controls mean big data privacy headaches as well. We're talking about the potential mishandling of private and confidential data, and that's a red flag you can't ignore.

Cross-Border Data Transfers, BYOD globetrotters, this one's for you! Data crossing borders can be a bumpy ride with international eDiscovery compliance giving you a headache.

With increasingly robust global and domestic data privacy there is a new sheriff in town. GDPR, CCPA, and more - the alphabet soup of legal and regulatory requirements adds to the BYOD maze. A master wrangler, that's what you need to be!

Lasso of Legal Limbo:

Here's where it gets dicey. Privacy regulations, data retention policies, and compliance mandates vary like a patchwork quilt. BYOD turns that quilt into a puzzle, and fitting the pieces together takes time and expertise. Translation: Pricey legal consultations and compliance frameworks.

Training, Policy & Oversight Oh My!

Imagine wrangling a pack of wild animals - that's BYOD for you! Limited control over employee-owned devices means enforcing eDiscovery protocols becomes a tricky tightrope walk.

Employee Training: BYOD rules and eDiscovery protocols - a match made in training heaven. Or is it? Employee education is crucial to prevent data mishaps and ensure a smooth eDiscovery journey.

The wild west of BYOD means that you need to devote extra time to educating and informing your teams about the risks outlined above and more.

This entails building a robust BYOD policy and updating it at the speed that new devices are hitting the market. Not to mention having the right training and guidance in so guide your employees through the BYOD desert.

Diabolical Discovery Disasters

BYOD looks a lot less rosy now, well that is not the half of it. When it comes to discovery obligations and cost this approach can spell big extra cost and risk!

Data Fragmentation:

Bring Your Own Device. It's like a tech fiesta where everyone brings their gadgets to the party, but guess what? That is a potluck that might turn your discovery stomach!

Picture this: Your legal team, armed with an array of personal devices, tackling cases left and right. The smartphones, the tablets, the laptops – it's like a gadget galore. Each device is like a puzzle piece, holding a fragment of your data masterpiece. But here's where it gets tricky, my savvy legal minds:

  • Scattered Silos: With BYOD in play, your data gets scattered like catnip in the wind. Documents, emails, files – they end up residing in separate silos across various devices. Chaos, anyone?
  • Version Vexation: Ever played the game Telephone (and no I do not mean an Apple iPhone!)? That's what happens with data versions in BYOD. Different devices mean different versions of the same document. Who's got the latest, accurate version? It's like chasing a laser pointer in the dark.
  • Seeing Double: Imagine your legal eagles copying files from their devices to work on them. But wait – now you've got duplicates flying around faster than a cat chasing a feather toy. Which version's the real McCoy? Data duplication is like a never-ending game of hide and seek.
  • Search Showdown: Need to find that crucial document? Well, get ready for a search safari. Data spread across devices means you're sifting through devices like a cat hunting for treats in a big, mysterious house. Efficiency can take a nosedive as time ticks away.
  • Data Security Snarl: Now, let's talk security. Every device is its own fortress, and managing each one's security is like guarding different entries to a castle. If one device's security falters, your castle – aka your data – is at risk.

Device Dualities:

One size fit all. Not with BYOD! From iPhone diehards to Android junkies, the great divide in devices has only expanded. Employees parade in with their favorite gadgets, and your eDiscovery team must now learn the art of handling different devices like a tech diving rod.

Each type of device, laptop, cellphone, tablet, and more created by a myriad of hardware companies and supported by a variety of internet and cell service providers. This creates a tangled web to unwind if you want to get to relevant data and avoid those pesky sanctions.

Determining where the line of personal data ends and company data begins is no simple feat. ESI residing on these BYOD personal devices are subject to discovery obligations and the Federal Rules. But are often comingled with Apps and tools rife with personal data that extend far beyond just personal email or text messages.

Ephemeral Data:

And sometimes...Poof! Messages disappear like magic! Those self-destructing messages and ephemeral data leave your eDiscovery team gasping for clues. Abracadabra, anyone?

Mobile device management, BYOD policies and more must include provisions to execute legal holds and prevent spoliation even on personal devices.

Data Ownership Disputes:

Who's the rightful owner of the data? BYOD blurs the lines, leading to potential data ownership disputes that can make your Electronic Discovery dance a real challenge.

Picture this: your team's working on a hot case, tapping away on their personal devices, sharing files left and right. But wait, what about data security? When personal and work data intermingle, it's like a cat and a dog trying to share a food bowl. Security measures like encryption and remote wiping become non-negotiable, and that adds a financial punch to your tab.

So, your Organization is BYOD, Now What?

Read the next installment to find out what a legal practitioner is to do!