Employers loosen rules on camera phones
Too many brands to keep track of, a lower security risk than once perceived, prompt IT managers to relax policies
Computerworld - Cameras are available on just about every kind of wireless handheld device, from inexpensive cell phones to high-end smart phones, putting pressure on IT managers to reconsider corporate security policies banning cameras.
In 2004, when cameras first became widely available for devices, many companies that purchase devices for their employees dug in their heels and asked their wireless carriers to provide models with no cameras.
Four years later, however, that hard-line approach appears to be softening, at least in the private sector. "Some companies are still avoiding [devices with cameras], but that's a minority," said Gartner Inc. analyst Ken Dulaney in a recent interview. Dulaney works with many Fortune 500 companies on their mobile device purchases and policies.
"Many companies have now relaxed their rules, as most are resigned to the notion that virtually all phones include cameras built-in," added Jack Gold, an analyst at J.Gold Associates LLC.
At one large U.S. corporation that provides BlackBerry wireless devices to 30,000 users, the camera ban was recently lifted for new device purchases. "Even the low-end phones are coming out with Bluetooth and cameras, so we've ended up adding cameras to the mix of devices allowed," said a senior IT manager at the company who asked not to be named because of corporate policies. However, the IT manager said that when the IT shop can disable the camera via management tools over the network, it will do so.
There are network management tools that curtail camera use. Research In Motion Ltd., maker of the BlackBerry, makes models that enable the IT staff to turn off the camera through the BlackBerry Enterprise Server, so an employee can't surreptitiously photograph proprietary information or inappropriate material. Similar photo-blocking is available with Windows Mobile Exchange synchronization functions, the manager noted.
But the manager said there's no similar way to control photos that are taken on some devices and sent over Bluetooth wireless. Because of such loopholes, there are questions about how any organization can control camera usage. "We want to minimize the potential risk, but there's minimal risk anyway, we've decided," the IT manager added.
"Some companies don't see the camera as an issue, but some still prefer employees not have them in phones," Raney said. Some industries, and many government agencies, have tougher standards than others, she noted.
Gold, who advises corporations on wireless use, said he used to t
- Best iPhone, iPad Business Apps for 2014
- 14 Tech Conventions You Should Attend in 2014
- 10 Desktop Apps to Power Your Windows PC
- How to Add New Job Skills Without Going Back to School
- Slideshow: 7 security mistakes people make with their mobile device
- iOS vs. Android: Which is more secure?
- 11 sure signs you've been hacked
- OpenStack Hype vs. Reality: CIO Quick Pulse Open-source architecture can enable IT departments to build infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) clouds running on standard hardware.
- The Critical Role of Support in Your Enterprise Mobility Management Strategy Most business leaders underestimate the importance of tech support when they choose an EMM solution. Here's what to put on your checklist.
- Separating Work and Personal at the Platform Level: How BlackBerry Balance Works BlackBerry® Balance™ separates work from personal on the same mobile device, right at a platform level. Find out how it can work for...
- Protection for Every Enterprise: How BlackBerry Security Works Get an IT-level review of BlackBerry® Security, addressing data leakage protection, certified encryption, containerization and much more.
- Live Webcast On-demand webinar: "Mobility Mayhem: Balancing BYOD with Enterprise Security" Check out this on-demand webinar to hear Sophos senior security expert John Shier deep dive into how BYOD impacts your enterprise security strategy...
- Live Webcast Unmasking the Differences between Consumer and Enterprise File Sync & Share The consumerization of IT combined with the rapid pace of the modern mobile workplace is forcing enterprise IT teams to evaluate file sync...
- Live Webcast Workforce Mobilization for Improved Productivity A mobility research director from Aberdeen discusses reasons for extending legacy applications to mobile devices, and an integration strategist from Attachmate shows how...
- Getting Ready for BlackBerry Enterprise Service 10.2 Find out how BlackBerry® Enterprise Service 10 helps organizations address the full spectrum of EMM challenges, while balancing the needs of both the...
- Containerization Options: How to Choose the Best DLP Solution for Your Organization This webcast outlines a framework for making the right choice when it comes to containerization approaches, along with the pros and cons of... All Mobile/Wireless White Papers | Webcasts
As emerging technologies evolve they often find an initial niche in highly specialized scenarios, or in specific industry verticals, before expanding to wider areas of applicability. Within these initial niches, the early adopters can be anything from digital enthusiasts to fashionistas, or they can be folks simply using the technology because it serves a specific need extremely well. (free registration required) more