Mobile Device Policy

Guidelines for UW-owned mobile devices

These guidelines apply to mobile devices that are property of the University of Washington, which include all mobile devices purchased by a UW budget regardless of funding source, and whether purchased directly or through a reimbursement, or otherwise designated as UW property such as through a donation. For personally-owned devices, please see the note at the end of this document. Laptops are not included in this policy since they represent a separate device category that can be fully administered by IT.

UW Bothell welcomes the use of mobile devices, allows wireless network access for anyone with a UW NetID, and does not insist on central management or administration for mobile devices. In practice this means that IT can help clients figure out settings for wifi, email, and calendar. The mobile device user handles everything else (apps, accessories, management of the device). Sometimes, units share mobile devices. In this case, the home department is responsible for the device.

In general, we’ve found that this arrangement allows for the greatest flexibility and freedom for clients. Here are some specifics and guidelines:

Information Technologies Services for Mobile Devices

IT will provide information and assistance for most latest-generation iOS, Android, and Windows mobile devices; the client is responsible for the actual operation of the device.

IT services for mobile devices include:

  • Consulting with clients to help them select the most appropriate device to meet their needs.
  • Coordinating the purchase of devices with budget authorization from the requesting department.
  • Providing inventory tracking services for supported devices.
  • Setting up access to UW Bothell email.
  • Helping clients connect the device to the UW Bothell campus Internet.
  • Helping clients set up security features such as passcodes and location tracking services.

The person or department using the mobile device is responsible for:

  • Appropriate use: Following all applicable UW, State, and Federal regulations for computing and mobile devices, including the UW’s Appropriate Use Policy ( The Appropriate Use Policy applies to the device itself as well as to the use of a UW-funded data plan and any software applications.
  • Funding: Identifying appropriate funding sources
  • Security: Taking reasonable measures to secure the mobile device and any data it contains or may access, including:
    Use of a secure device password or PIN at all times.
    Activation of any available tracking services, such as the “Find my iPhone or iPad” service for iPads, iPhones, and iPod touches.
    Keeping device physically secure. For example, the device must not be left unattended in a publicly accessible location or loaned out to other people in violation of the UW Appropriate Use policy referenced above.
    Filing all appropriate reports with law enforcement and security, and notifying IT if the device is lost or stolen.
  • Account management: Creating and maintaining any non-UW Bothell accounts necessary to purchase apps, content, or otherwise operate the device.
  • Apps: Evaluating, purchasing, installation, and doing data management for applications from independent app sources such as Apple App Store or the Android Marketplace.
  • Technical setup: Performing all necessary technical work to access resources such as UW Bothell email, Internet, peripherals, or applications (except in cases where IT support is available, as noted above).
  • Coordinating with the Office of Budget and Fiscal Services to purchase, manage, and troubleshoot cellular data plans.
  • Approving the purchase of mobile devices.
  • Purchasing insurance for devices, if desired.
  • Funding the replacement of broken, lost, or stolen devices, if desired.

Personally-owned devices

Though this guideline applies devices that are UW property, we get a lot of questions about personal devices. With personally-owned devices, there are a few things to keep in mind:

  • IT support is limited to providing standard UW Bothell email connection information for Microsoft Exchange. No other technical support is available for personally-owned devices.
  • Any work-related data stored on the device, such as email, may be subject to public records disclosure.
  • By connecting a personally-owned mobile device to UW services or data, you may be giving UW access to UW data on your device. In some circumstances, UW may be able to access your device remotely to remove, modify, or disable access to UW data. See for more information, particularly the sections on “Monitoring and Privacy” as well as “Records Management” and “eDiscovery”.