Keith Townsend (@CTOAdvisor) on best practices for separating personal data from work data

Summary: Keith Townsend (@CTOAdvisor) talks to Marc Farley (@GoFarley) about separating technology and data from business life and personal life.


MF: Hi this is a technology ridecast, I’m Marc Farley and our special guest this morning is Keith Townsend. How you doing Keith?
KT: Hey Marc, thanks for the lift again.
MF: You got it. Hey you tweeted this morning about a really interesting article that was an advice column for what to do with your information when you leave an employer
KT: Yeah I’m thinking is this Wired or some content that they sourced from somewhere else because, it’s just crazy advise.
MF: Anybody took that advice and used it – they could probably end up in a lot of trouble.
KT: I guess we should tell people what the advice was,  which is basically how to delete all of your corporate IT assets when you’re leaving a company. Basically walk away and erase your digital footprint from your corporate IT.
MF: Remove all your information from the corporation.
KT: That they paid to have you produce.
MF: I don’t think there are any best practices for individuals when they leave their job.
KT: When I worked for a large consulting firm, named PwC,  when I left and I took my laptop to turn it in, they hand walked me through – erasing anything that didn’t want on there and
making me feel comfortable that as I turned stuff that I was protecting my own interests. But you know it’s an interesting culture there and they believe that in the future they will do business with you as an executive so they they want to leave really great taste in your mouth.  I think they backup software on my laptop so everything that was on there anyway was being backed up.
MF: But that brings up a really good point. Most corporations are backing up your data. That says something about what you should be putting on corporate assets anyway.
KT: I agree I have two iPhones – I have a workiPhone, I have a personal iPhone. I have two laptops, I have my work laptop, and I have my personal laptop. So if I were to abruptly have to leave my job, by my decision or someone else’s I’d just turn in the machine and then walk away and there’s no hard feelings at least from a technology perspective.  I installed Google Docs and I stopped getting email on my phone and I didn’t know why and I came into the office and I had a message sitting in my inbox that said , “hey you installed an unauthorized app so we shut down your email.”
MF: Whoa!
KT: So that was just one of those things and I said ok, this is getting a little bit too intrusive – it’s best for me just to separate church and state.
MF: Yeah and if the company has a policy to pay for a phone anyway, then why not just do it huh?
KT: Exactly. If it was my phone and I paid for it, then I’d take offense to it. But, you know what? They gave me a slick iPhone 6 when the iPhone 6 was a new device. I get the
privilege of using that device, it’s a great work tool and I can’t complain. So if I wanted something equivalent to use, to you know, lug around and play Angry Birds or Pokemon Go, that should be on my dime.
MF: Yeah I guess it should. You know you’re always good at sorting this kind of stuff out it’s been great having you on. Thanks Keith.
KT: Thanks Marc, I really appreciate the ride.

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