Jacob Baytelman

Building software since 1998

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Company's phones, clouds and our personal data

Already now a great part of our personal data resides outside our personal devices. We call it "in the cloud". Legally it's hard to determine, who owns the data in the cloud. A physical location of the "cloud" (its physical servers) in another country, free access to this service, terms and conditions, etc turn the legal aspect of this questions into a nightmare.

Now imagine, you get a phone for free. In this case who owns the data on this device?

If I buy a camera and take a picture, the picture is mine.

If I rent a camera and take a picture, it's also mine (in most cases).

If someone gives me to hold his camera for 5 mins (while he is busy packing his bag) and I take a picture, whose picture is it?

If my company gives me a camera to make pictures of the company's event, who owns the pictures?

The less obvious my ownership of the device, the more concerns about the ownership of the products created with this device.

Now, what if I take a picture with a company's iPhone and it is immediately synchronised with my iCloud account (which I created with my personal email)?

The smartphone contains the list of the employees, with their roles, the email stores probably "not to be disclosed" company's data. Thus the mixture of my personal data and company's data goes to my account on the cloud, which is not quite under my control.

So do I want a company's phone? Not so sure indeed. Or if I have to have one, I will still keep my private phone and will carry now 2 bricks in my pockets.

J.Baytelman 2014