Innovation Asset Blog

Employee smartphones could create corporate copyright drama

Smartphones have earned a reputation for being a disruptive technology within the business community in recent years, unlocking previously unimaginable productivity gains and introducing commensurate security risks. According to Business Software Alliance chairman Clayton Noble, one of the lesser known emerging threats are the copyright complications created by employees using pirated mobile applications.

In an interview with ZDNet, Noble highlighted the crucial shift in software procurement trends brought on by mobile devices. Instead of waiting for IT teams to select and install the programs they will use on their devices, employees now have the autonomy to choose their preferred tools. As a result, workers who have downloaded pirated mobile apps could be creating a precarious situation for their company if corporate workloads cross with personal devices.

As a result, copyright considerations are being added to the list of talking points in an already complex conversation regarding individual and collective liability.

"It may be that businesses who permit people to use their own devices … say that in exchange for that is the understanding that the business is going to have to look at your device to check what you're bringing on to work systems is safe, secure and genuinely licensed," Noble told ZDNet. "That's a really tricky issue for IT managers to deal with."

The encouraging news, according to ComputerWeekly, is that companies are growing more cognizant of and concerned by these new workforce dynamics. But as Noble suggested, crafting and enforcing an acceptable use policy that suits all sides requires a delicate touch and expert skill.

Peter Ackerman

Peter Ackerman

Founder & CEO, Innovation Asset Group, Inc.