Helping companies change their world is an exciting responsibility. When a small or medium sized business invests in a fleet of Apple devices, we sometimes have to help people understand why things are done a certain way. Confusion around Apple IDs and how / why we recommend they be used happens all the time.

This is a DRAFT that may help other business people have the right conversations with their employees when iOS devices are being managed using our preferred approach– this document will evolve and your input is invited.

iPhone / iPad FAQ:

Introduction — Your Apple ID is the email address and password you use to sign in to Apple services including iCloud, the App Store, the iTunes Store and more. Apple takes the privacy of your personal information very seriously and employs industry-standard practices to safeguard your Apple ID.

Why do we get iPhones and iPads? — We want you to enjoy the best and most secure technology available. We know that Apple devices hold their value better, and that the “return on investment” is higher than with other devices.

Why do we have to use an Apple ID on these iPhones and iPads anyway? — iPhones and iPads get many of their capabilities from the “Cloud” based infrastructure that Apple has built. This includes things like the App Store, iCloud email, Pages, Numbers and Keynote (word processing, spreadsheet, and presentation software programs). The only way to have the best experience with iOS devices is to use an Apple ID.

Just how secure are Apple IDs and my information in the Apple “cloud”? — Apple IDs are like Social Insurance Numbers, and Apple has designed these systems with the ultimate security and privacy in mind. This design means that even if they wanted to, they couldn’t decrypt your information without your blessing. You can make your Apple ID so secure that the instant anyone TRIES to access your information, you’re made aware of it— that’s part of a feature called Two Factor Authentication.

Why do want us to use our own Apple ID? — We want you to have the best experience possible with your company owned iPhone. Using your own Apple ID keeps it simple for you. None of us have to babysit a bunch of different passwords, and you get the benefit of Apple’s iCloud eco-system which includes Music, Apps, Photos, and more. Note that you CAN create a new Apple ID, strictly for use on your company Apple devices— it’s up to you.

If I use my own Apple ID, can you see any of my information? — No. Apple takes the personal privacy of it’s Apple ID account holders very seriously. We, nor any governmental agency can access your private information, including your photos, messages, iCloud emails, contacts, or iCloud drive documents.

Can you see where I am, or what I’m doing? — Not reliably. Because of concern for YOUR Privacy, Apple does not provide this capability to us. If necessary, we can TRY to see where a phone is located geographically using a management tool, but it’s only accurate under very specific conditions.

So exactly what CAN you see then? — Only things directly related to the safety and security of the device itself. It is an expensive company asset after all. The question is, what are we INTERESTED in seeing?… we want to make sure the device has up to date software, so we can see what version of the operating system is installed. We want to feel confident that the devices are being used mostly for work related purposes, so we can see what Apps are installed. We can see some health related metrics about the device like battery life, network strength, how much storage space is available, and whether information is being encrypted properly.

And what ELSE is happening that I should be aware of? — We want to prevent company secrets from being compromised, so the devices are being prevented from having Company related information inter-mingled with your Personal information. We want to be able to remotely erase the device if it’s lost or stolen, so we can send a signal “over the air” for the device to do that to itself. We have used a security feature of the Apple eco-system called Supervision, which prevents the device from being activated by anyone else if it’s lost or stolen and we can’t recover it. We configure the devices to enforce the use of a Passcode. We may also block the installation of some known “inappropriate” Apps. Later, we may “invite” you to install Apps that WE pay for.

Speaking of devices being lost or stolen, what’s the right thing to do if that happens? — First, tell someone. We may ask you to try to use Find my iPhone to locate, lock, or wipe the device. That alone is a compelling reason for you to use your own Apple ID— as the “rightful end-user”, you have the ability to fairly reliably see where the device is on a map—- if you recall, we do not. If that doesn’t work, we may then try to remotely lock or wipe the device using our management tools. If we’re fortunate enough to recover the device, we can unlock it again.