Google to protect employee privacy on company-owned devices

San Francisco:  Google has expanded Androids commitment to employee privacy in Android 11, by bringing the privacy protections of the work profile to company-owned devices.

Employees increasingly demand privacy from the technology they use every day, but employers often see privacy in opposition to enterprise data security.

Bringing privacy protections to company-owned devices means “IT can deploy the work profile to help protect employee privacy across their entire fleet, regardless if the device is personally or company-owned,” the company said in a statement on Tuesday.

Since its debut in Android 5, the work profile has secured company data on personally-owned devices while preserving employee privacy.

In a recent survey by ESG research, 71 per cent of employees said they expect all personal information to remain private on work devices.

This resistance to traditional full device management creates challenges for IT organizations. In fact, employee concern about privacy is the top reason mobile devices remain unmanaged by IT, according to IDC.

Google said that Android is committed to delivering simple, consistent privacy protections to its users.

“Just as IT shouldn’t put company data at risk to enable mobile productivity, employees shouldn’t be asked to reveal private, personal data to their company,” it added.

The new privacy features include asset management protections, even if devices are lost or stolen; personal usage policies such as restricting what apps employees can use, to keep device usage in compliance with corporate policy and hardware management.

IT can block an employee from using social media apps on a company-owned device, but in doing so, doesn’t need to know the other apps they use outside of work.

“Now Android can help preserve employee privacy in the personal profile while enabling IT management of what employees can do with the personal profile,” informed Google.

The Android Management API will support these work profile enhancements in July, enabling customers and developers to try out these new features on the Android 11 Beta.

Google also announced it is bringing Android 11’s new combination of strong personal privacy protections and robust asset management features to older Android devices, as far back as Android 8.