Does Android Work actually... work?
April 21, 2020 1:32 PM   Subscribe

Basic question: if I install Android for Work on my phone and Outlook etc can my employer spy on me? A google search says no but I'm feeling paranoid.

I wouldn't even ask about this, but our IT department at work is kind of... weird. Weird like I think they might spy on people for shits and giggles.

It would be really helpful to have my phone for messages when I'm away doing dishes or telling one of my kids to cut it out. Sometimes I get urgent messages, but I hate hovering around the computer at home.
posted by selfnoise to Work & Money (4 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: Android for Work is a feature of the Android operating system to create a separate work profile for employer-managed apps. It lets your employer install apps within this “work profile.” It prevents those apps from accessing any data or activity from your personal apps. It also has a toggle button that lets you quickly disable (or re-enable) the work profile. Your work apps won't be able to run at all while the work profile is disabled. (You can use this if you want your phone to stop checking work email on the weekend, for example.)

Your employer can potentially see your activity within the apps in your work profile. For example, when Outlook on your phone syncs email to/from your company's server, the server administrator can see that your phone is connected. If they install an app that is specifically designed to send data back to them, they'll have access to whatever that app sends. However, it won't be able to access things like the camera or GPS location without your permission. And if it's installed in your work profile, it won't be able to run while the work profile is disabled.
posted by mbrubeck at 2:23 PM on April 21, 2020 [4 favorites]

I would check and see if there are any T&Cs your employer imposes for this. One reason I don't have a similar work-related app on my phone (I think it's called Good) is because my employer says that if I access my work email on my personal phone, doing so grants consent to my employer to have access to anything on my phone should they deem it necessary for business or security purposes. If they want me to have access to email or messages outside of work hours, they can give me a work phone and pay for it themselves.
posted by essexjan at 4:33 AM on April 22, 2020 [2 favorites]

My employer reserves the right to brick the entire phone if they detect an issue via this so beware. Shockingly, no one has installed it after that was revealed!
posted by fshgrl at 10:31 AM on April 22, 2020 [1 favorite]

Details here.
"The user’s work profile is removed, which includes the corporate account and all apps and data associated with it. Personal data and apps remain on the device."
posted by Sharcho at 2:47 PM on April 22, 2020 [1 favorite]

« Older Thank you to thesis committee   |   What's wrong with American capitalism? Play this... Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.