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iOS 9.3 will give employers a lot more control over your work-issued devices

By midian182 ยท 6 replies
Mar 2, 2016
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  1. The vast majority of companies place restrictions on their computers to stop employees downloading certain files or changing PC settings. It protects network security; without it, workers could compromise an entire system - a scenario that is thought to be the cause of the recent Hollywood hospital ransomware attack.

    This same level of administrator control doesn't extend to company-issued smartphones, but it looks as if Apple’s upcoming iOS 9.3 update may change things.

    A section in Apple’s developer documentation shows that, among other things, those with mobile device management access will be able to edit the homescreen layout of company iPhones, meaning admins get to decide where the apps are positioned. The company could, for example, put work apps in a prime position for employees to access, with no way for workers to arrange apps the way they prefer.

    Additionally, employers will be able to hide certain apps, including pre-installed Apple ones and those related to the device’s systems, presumably so users won’t compromise the security of the phone. IT admins will also be able to block specific apps being downloaded from the app store, so no more Candy Crush or Clash of Clans.

    Finally, the new update will let companies change notification settings on their iOS devices, meaning they can control the method and frequency in which users receive them. Constant, invasive notifications will no doubt make it difficult for staff members to claim that they “never saw the message.”

    One thing iOS 9.3 brings that benefits employees is a prominent message on the lock screen that warns: “This iPhone is managed by your organization.” Going into the device’s About screen will expand on this, explaining that the iPhone’s supervisor can monitor its internet traffic and locate the device.

    While this is all good news for businesses looking to improve worker productivity, many employees may not be too happy to find they can’t even personalize the layout of their work-issued device, even if it is their employer’s property.

    Image credit: Vitabello / Shutterstock

    Permalink to story.

  2. p51d007

    p51d007 TS Evangelist Posts: 1,161   +548

    If it is ISSUED, and OWNED by a company, then by God, they should set it up the
    way they want and monitor it any time they want.
    If it is OWNED by an individual, then the person that owns it, should set it up and
    run it how they want.
    Fumduck, Hexic and Mikael_r like this.
  3. Hexic

    Hexic TS Maniac Posts: 310   +151

    Absolutely correct - with the one caveat of using a network of an employer that deals with classified information, such as defense contractors. It's your phone, and you should be able to install whatever you want - but if you use their networks for business in any way, they should be monitoring you during that usage.
    Fumduck likes this.
  4. Panda218

    Panda218 TS Evangelist Posts: 414   +172

    Being a mobile device administrator is a giant pain in the *** with iPhones and Apple hasn't done much to remedy the situation. This is great to see, but I'm curious which MDM platforms will be able to take advantage of these new features.

    I miss blackberry devices for corporate environments :(
  5. Skidmarksdeluxe

    Skidmarksdeluxe TS Evangelist Posts: 7,984   +2,874

    I agree. If it's company issued and paid for then it's nothing more than a tool for the employees to get the job done. They should just shut up and do what they're paid to do.
    Fumduck likes this.
  6. Jim$ter

    Jim$ter TS Booster Posts: 158   +32

    If the company I worked for started doing this they could take their phone and shove it up their ***.
  7. Fumduck

    Fumduck TS Rookie

    And if I was your employer, I'd tell you not to let the door hit your *** on the way out

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