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10/28/2013 9:30:00 AM Write a Letter to the Editor Write a letter to the Editor

iTECH: ‘BYOD’ Trend Increases Need for Protecting Drivers’ Devices

By Stephen Bennett, Contributing Writer

This story appears in the October/November 2013 issue of iTECH, published in the Oct. 14 print edition of Transport Topics. Click here to subscribe today.

A thief walks through a truck stop with a driver’s smart phone in hand when he crosses an invisible boundary. Suddenly the phone announces loudly and repeatedly, “This phone has been stolen!”

Or, more discreetly, the owner of the phone can activate it to take a picture of the unauthorized user or to activate ambient audio recording while the device is being used illicitly.

These security features and others available from companies that cater to consumers are becoming increasingly important to over-the-road truck drivers because of a trend that has been described as the “consumerization” of business technology or “BYOD” — tech-talk for “bring your own device.”

That trend includes trucking companies such as Boyd Bros. Transportation, in Clayton, Ala., and J.B. Hunt Transport Services, based in Lowell, Ark., which are allowing or encouraging drivers, as well as countless independent contractors, to use their personal mobile devices for work purposes. For those drivers, ensuring the physical security of their smart phones or tablets — and recovering them if they are lost or stolen — is critical, according to companies that offer mobile device management services or applications designed to find lost or stolen devices.

For example, Boyd Bros. is find¬ing that many of its drivers are turn¬ing in company-issued scanners used for proof-of-delivery and other documents, because they’re using their own smart phones to capture and transmit document images, said Elaine Maund, vice president of information systems.

Pat Wheeley, document processing manager for J.B. Hunt, also said the carrier is encouraging drivers to use their smart phones, noting “almost everyone” has one.

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