As we enter a new Bring Your Own Device era, the line between personal and corporate data is becoming more blurred. With more consumers becoming more proactive about protecting their information across social media and mobile devices and becoming more in tune to how their information is being protected (or not), we at CMSWire were curious how consumers' own data retention behaviors are affecting how companies manage data.

BYOD Era Brings More Data Into the Enterprise

Whether it’s email, instant messages, discussion boards, social media or actual document creation, the amount of data growing in the enterprise is not only man-made, it’s largely created by employees. And not only that, creating data is no longer limited to the 9-to-5 work day. Now, most employees have access to company email, files and other systems practically any time they want, remotely from laptop or mobile device.

We’ve covered what companies are doing to help retain data for compliance or discovery purposes and the policies that guide them. From managing data more effectively to keeping archived content relevant and compliant, most advice about how to handle consumer technologies has been given from the perspective of the enterprise, not the employee.

Just in time for National Consumer Protection Week, we gathered insights from some reputable sources for recommendations about how consumers can manage their own data better, which may lead to better behaviors and awareness in the enterprise.

A Consumer Bill of Rights

We started at the top. A few days ago, the White House released a report called Consumer Data Privacy In a Networked World: A Framework For Protecting Privacy and Promoting Innovation In the Global Digital in which a Consumer Privacy Bill of Rights is introduced. It outlines a baseline of clear protections for consumers and greater certainty for companies. Specifically, it provides consumers with 7 basic rights when it comes to protecting consumer data:

  1. Individual Control: a right to exercise control over what personal data companies collect from them and how they use it
  2. Transparency: a right to easily understandable and accessible information about privacy and security practice
  3. Respect for Context: a right to expect that companies will collect, use and disclose personal data in ways that are consistent with the context in which consumers provide the data.
  4. Security: a right to secure and responsible handling of personal data
  5. Access and Accuracy: a right to have access to and correct personal data in usable formats, in a manner that is appropriate to the sensitivity of the data and the risk of adverse consequences to consumers if the data is inaccurate
  6. Focused Collection: a right to reasonable limits on the personal data that companies collect and retain
  7. Accountability: a right to have personal data handled by companies with appropriate measures in place to assure they adhere to the Consumer Privacy Bill of Rights

Ultimately adopting this will take more than just a declaration -- Congress and the FCC must agree to these terms, not to mention the companies that represent nearly 90% of the online advertising marketplace.

Politics aside, these rights outline exactly what the enterprise needs to be planning for and what consumers need to be more aware of as they engage online. Once consumers understand the types of information being gathered about them, they may think twice about using their personal device on company time -- which isn’t to say that companies don’t need to accommodate personal devices or change their own data policies.

BYOD at Your Own Risk

Next we talked with Wayne Wong, managing consultant at Kroll Ontrack. Kroll provides consulting, services and technology products involving data recovery and information management. I asked Wong what he recommends that companies should be requiring of those who opt to BYOD to work.