A bug or a feature?

I need to report this to some co-workers and at least warn them.

After leaving Microsoft last night I deleted my MS email account on my phone. The phone immediately said I needed to change my password on the phone. There were three edit boxes. One for my old password, one for the new password and one to confirm the new password. I put in the requested information and it claimed my old password was invalid. I tried again. Same problem. I then noticed it said my old password was four digits long. That wasn’t right. It had been six digits. As I tried to “get in” it started making me wait before I could retry. First it was one minute, then two, then four. When it got to 16 minutes I gave up trying plausible passwords they remotely set the device to. I got online and used the remote wipe feature to completely erase the phone.

Grrrr…. that was unpleasant. I can understand why a company would want to delete company private information off of former employee phones when they leave the company. But I did that with the deleting of the email account. The rest of the information that ended up being deleted was my personal information. They should have at least warned me so I could make sure I had all my personal information copied to a safe place.

As it turns out I think the only thing I lost was some notes about the length of some Boomershoot berms, all my SMS messages with my kids and wife from the past few months and a few things like that. Nothing that is more than annoying rather than something really important like a video of your child’s first steps or something.

The irony is that while at dinner with Ry last night he suggested I delete my email account rather than just let it expire and have Microsoft remotely wipe my phone like what happened to him when he left.

5 thoughts on “A bug or a feature?

  1. I’m going to go with “feature”.

    This is why I recommend that people avoid mixing their personal information with business. I do not use my company laptop for personal use (save for checking my web mail) and I do not use my personal laptop for anything work related.

    I know a number of people that I work with that have connected their personal iPads to their company email and others that have installed the company VPN client on their personal computers. My company is straight forward about their acceptable use policy – the company asks you to acknowledge that once company data resides on your device they can remote wipe it or cut off service at anytime.

    You’re right – MS should have made that clear,if that’s the policy.

  2. When I left MS, I didn’t have a company cell phone, or a personal phone with any company info on it. They just remotely wiped my brain instead.

  3. If the phone was your property, I think I’d have a rude conversation with them.

  4. Yes.. that is an annoying problem with the remote wipe in Exchange Server 2010. On some phones it will even delete the apps, the data, and change all the settings to default. Absolutely brutal. The original idea for remote wipe is if an employees phone was stolen/lost and it had company data on it, the sensitive company data would be erased. Unfortunately that is not good thinking if personal data is on the phone. If I care about the data, I always have a backup somewhere. I don’t like remote wipe at all since its so destructive. To erase the data I would backup my personal stuff and format the sim card. Just my 2 cents. 🙂

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