Is this a good thing? iPhones will soon tell users if you’re monitoring them

There are a few ways to interpret a recent report about the newest iOS version: One is that it’ll give users a constant reminder to be careful on company devices. Another is that it’ll freak them. Big time. 

According to reports, iOS 9.3 provides crystal clear warnings to users on their lock screens when their iPhones are being monitored by administrators. If you have solid BYOD policies, this should already be abundantly clear to users, but the explicit reminder could be either welcome or intrusive, depending on the user.

Most people who work in IT take it as a given that company-owned devices or those subject to a BYOD program are going to be monitored, at least to some extent. But for the average user, if the mobile device management (MDM) program isn’t intrusive  – and ideally, it shouldn’t be – chances are they won’t think about it.

Time to revisit your BYOD policy

Some users will likely be upset or even angry about the alert. Others may be worried, not understanding what it means.

Your best bet is to lean into any monitoring programs. Explain to users that yes, you may monitor their devices as part of a BYOD or corporate-owned device policy. Explain why you’re doing it and that the realities of the modern age make it necessary.

For some users, this won’t be acceptable, which is when you can remind them if participation in BYOD is optional or urge them to use a personal device for anything they don’t want IT to be aware of.

And who knows, for some users this may be the kick in the pants they need to finally start taking mobile device security more seriously.

What do you think? Is this a welcome reminder or just going to lead to more frustration? Leave your take in the comments below.