I thought this was quite interesting:
"How to protect your smartphone data from your boss
Employees can be left high and dry if they use their own devices on work systems, should their employer choose to wipe all the data.
There’s been plenty of commentary on the risks of bring-your-own tech devices to enterprise, but not much consideration of how employees can lose out when they use their own smartphone, tablet or notebook in their employer’s cause. We took a phone call this week that highlighted the need for protection on both sides of the relationship.
Our executive enquirer had brought his own smartphone to work, and the IT department had helpfully taken the handset and hooked it up to the enterprise Exchange server. How neat. The business was paying our caller’s phone bill, and even providing hands-on technical support.
Of course, they were trusted with the owner’s handset PIN, since that was required for the techs to work their magic.
But the magic turned black when the working relationship just didn’t work out. The parties were mature about it all, shaking hands and agreeing to part ways. But without discussion or warning, our caller woke to find his iPhone cleared of all contacts, call records and messages the next morning.
With the flick of a software switch, the handset had been remotely wiped. As he now understands, that’s trivial for an Exchange server administrator to do when you’re linked to a server. And it can be done with many different handsets and tablets.
There’s no argument against an enterprise protecting its legitimate interests by taking control of its own confidential and copyright information. The issues here were that, first, there had been no disclosure of the fact an employee’s personal property was being set up for remotely triggered implosion and, second, their personal contacts, calls and messages were also wiped.
For a staffer who has been in an industry for several years, and has worked with a new boss for just a few weeks, that’s a big price to pay in the name of protecting the company’s legitimate interests.
We were called in the hope there was a legal remedy available, since the former employee could now no longer even get a call returned. Well, there are ways to engage the assistance of the legal system in these matters, but when you tally up the potential cost of them, you soon realise this is an area where the Lord really does help those who help themselves.
BACKING UP BEFORE YOU START
If you’re bringing in a device, have an explicit and documented understanding about how your personal data will be protected. And at the very least, take a full backup of the handset before giving it over for the enterprise treatment.
Obviously, it loses value as time goes by but it would have been a complete cure for our fellow’s woes, since his stay in the job was brief.
There’s also a variety of applications that separately back up contacts, messages, photos and music from smart devices. For our iPhone, we like iExplorer by Macroplant.
It can export pretty much all your key data, from any model of Apple phone or pad so far released. If you’re doing that after you have started blending your employer’s information with your own, you need to take care that you don’t retain what’s not yours.
But what if it’s all too late and your handset has been wiped before you thought to back up? Or if you have accidentally deleted important information yourself? All may not be lost, thanks to several utilities that try to recover deleted data.
They generally work in two ways, by exploring and retrieving from a backup, if available, or by undeleting from the handset itself. The second trick is possible because, like a PC, iPhones don’t actually delete this data, they just hide it from view.
In fact, the iOS operating system has an interesting bug. On the home screen, finger flick down to open the search tool. Then enter a word from a sender or receiver, or the subject line, of an email or iMessage you know you have deleted. Odds are that the first couple of lines of the trashed message will still appear in the search results.
Dr Fone by Wondershare gets mixed reviews as a data recovery tool, but it has worked well for us. Leawo iOS Data Recovery also does the job for some, but not others. It may take some experimentation to find the best option for your model and software version. But when all seems lost, that’s a small price to pay.
Peter Moon is a technology lawyer at Cooper Mills Lawyers. firstname.lastname@example.org