Week in Review


Employers and their IT departments are always looking for ways to protect their data in this age of constantly changing technology.  One new form of protection that may become available to employers is a "kill switch" on their employees' smartphones.  A “kill switch” will allow a phone’s owner to remotely delete data and deactivate smartphones after a theft or loss. This week, Apple, Google, Samsung, Microsoft, and the five largest U.S. cell carriers voluntarily agreed to include the kill switch technology on all of their smartphones manufactured for sale in the U.S. after July 2015.  There is some criticism of the voluntary agreement, because users must opt in to equip their smartphones with the kill switch, rather than having their phone automatically enabled with a chance to opt out. What does this mean for employers?  Once smartphones with this technology become available, employers can consider enabling the kill switch technology on company-issued smartphones and revising technology policies to require employees to enable it on personal smartphones used for work purposes.  That way, if sensitive company data is on a stolen or lost device – or on a device that a departing employee refuses to turn over to the company to have company data removed – a mechanism will exist to remotely wipe the data.

Technology and the Workplace
Is It Time to Reconsider Your Personal Email Policy? (Delaware Employment Law Blog)
The Rise of the Two-Phone Employee (WSJ)
LinkedIn Wants to Help You Stay at Your Company (WSJ)
That US Airways Employee Won't Be Fired for 'Honest Mistake' (Mashable)
Facebook Profiles Can Predict Work Performance (Mashable)
A 79-year-old teacher was fired for refusing to unfriend her students on Facebook (Employer Handbook)

Technology and the Law
'Kill switch' may be standard on U.S. phones in 2015 (CNN) (ABA Journal)
Fulbright's Litigation Survey Addresses Privacy in the Age of Social Media and Mobile Devices (Workplace Privacy Data Management & Security Report)
Botched e-discovery can be an ethics violation, proposed opinion says (ABA Journal)
Kentucky Enacts a Data Breach notification Law and Protects Student Data in the Cloud (Workplace Privacy Data Management & Security Report)
Jerked Around? Did the FTC's "Jerk.com" Complaint Just Turn API Terms Into Federal Law? (Socially Aware)

There's an App for That
LinkedIn's Mobile March Continues With New SlideShare App (Mashable)
Google's New Modular Phone May Be the Last You'll Need to Buy (Wired)
Judgy Smart Scale Tracks Your Weight on Your iPhone (Wired)
The Best Tools for Cleaning Your Gross Gadgets (WSJ)
Google overhauls Android camera app with new interface and bokeh effects (ars technica)

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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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