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UK Law Firm Provides Advice On Corporate Use Of iPads

Technology Law Alliance : 31 May, 2010  (Technical Article)
The UK launch of the Apple iPad is being met with an enthusiasm that should be tempered with sound security practices according to Technology Law Alliance
With the iPad having launched in the UK, and assured to generate the same euphoria that it has already achieved in the USA, Jagvinder Kang, a specialist IT lawyer with the award winning Birmingham and London-based specialist technology law firm, Technology Law Alliance, reminds new iPad owners not to lose sight of key security and practical safeguards.

Kang comments: "The iPad is a great device for keeping organised whilst on the move, but it is important that iPad users do not lose sight of data security and other legal and practical requirements that will still be applicable to their use."

The portability of the iPad is both a strength of the device, as well as a factor which gives rise to the risk of theft or loss of the device. There are certain minimum safeguards that both business and consumer users should therefore consider, including the following:

• Ensuring that the iPad is not treated as a mobile hard drive with everything being included on it, as data security risks are obviously increased as a result;

• Ensuring that at the very least, pin codes are activated, and activating remote data deletion and location detection of the device (corporates will probably look to safeguards which Exchange and other business security providers can provide; whilst consumers may wish to consider the MobileMe product by Apple which at least offers a degree of comfort in this respect, over that inherent in the inbuilt security safeguards of the iPad itself);

• From a data integrity perspective, businesses will want to ensure that there is proper version control between documents when creating or modifying documents on the iPad and other computers;

• Businesses also need to ensure that they change the standard "Sent from iPad" default email signature block to their corporate email footer, to address requirements such as: confidentiality notices, as well as requirements with regard to their legal status and details which must be displayed with regard to any professional regulatory body which they are governed by;

• The large screen of the iPad also makes internet and media browsing so much more practical, which may give rise to associated HR issues with such employee use in the workplace. So businesses may feel that it is prudent to check their Employee IT Usage Policies - as an employee is probably more likely to bring an iPad into work than a bulkier laptop.

Kang comments: "Apple's innovation as always is praiseworthy, but security and encryption with regard to the device will be a concern, much in the same way it has been with regard to the iPhone." Kang continues and concludes: "This will be an area to watch as the security specialists look at minimum technical requirements which must be met to satisfy corporate or government requirements in the business world, and will no doubt help to keep the iPad firmly in the media spotlight."
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