FACEBOOK HOME – MOAN…MOAN ON THE RANGE FOR IT

FACEBOOK-HOMEHow many raging narcissists, chatty Cathy’s, social voyeurs, or simply millennials occupy seats at your organization? Start the headcount today, because they are about to change the course of Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) for IT.

By change the course, I actually mean to say, induce a new layer of frustration and security sieves for corporations trying to embrace mobility for efficiency.  Yesterday, each of these Android touting seekers of attention or looky loos at the life of others had their grandest mobile wishes answered with the announcement of Facebook Home.

Facebook Home Ate My Lock

What is Facebook Home? Basically, it’s all Facebook all the time on your tablets or smartphones. In theory it’s not that different from current “skins” added by manufacturers like Samsung and HTC for product differentiation, but that’s theory.

In actuality, Facebook Home permeates all facets of the device – from hardware to every other App you use, there’s Facebook Home. Great, if Facebook is the reason you bought a smartphone, but how is that justified from a work perspective? I’m in marketing, so Facebook does devour a portion of my daily activities, but certainly not enough to justify the need for my friend’s circular “chat heads” living at the top of my Twitter App or SalesForce. Nor is it enough time to warrant home screen access to Facebook services and most certainly not enough to justify the ability to share a picture of my lunchtime latte without having to unlock the device. Functionality faux pas be damned, this is what should truly terrify every security wonk that has purview over mobility.

Yes I Resent Facebook Home, So Should Every Company That Values Security

DOUG-HENNINGI could talk functionality frustrations all day. Yes, I resent any app that puts my home screen where all my apps live down a level, requiring more finger waggling than a Doug Henning magic show to gain access to the device’s most basic feature. It’s wonderful that for today the home will show the latest updates from my retired parents in N.C., but it will not be wonderful when that space is eventually displaying an ad for products.

Security and management though, is what makes this new Facebook nirvana the most terrifying. Want to know where your phone is? Simply call Facebook, they’ll know based off of your GPS. All check-ins with FourSquare will likewise shoot data back to Facebook so it can serve up ads for more pizza while you’re eating pizza. Oh, and did I mention that little part about being able to do activities without unlocking the tablet or phone?

Then there is the poor IT professional who already has enough headaches with Android fragmentation in a BYOD environment. Now you will not only have to worry about the varying buffet items like éclairs and jellybeans and all of their various point based permutations therein,  you now will have the extra layer of Facebook Home munching away on users data.

CHAT-HEADSThe simple answer to manage Facebook Home is mobile device management where IT can allow or disallow varying operating systems. In the past most users didn’t care if they were forced into a certain OS, heck most users have no idea which version of Android they are currently running. They’ll notice the loss of Facebook home though, and you can be sure a cacophony of whines will arise when IT won’t allow it.

But not allow you must. Sure IT needs to serve end-users, but never at the cost of compromising sensitive company data or enabling time wasters…like Facebook.

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