U.S. CIO Vivek Kundra working to allow consumer devices in government

Remember back in 2009 when it was a big security concern that Obama wanted to continue using his BlackBerry instead of a more secure Sectera Edge smartphone? The White House may begin relaxing its strict requirements to allow some employees to carry consumer devices, according to The Washington Post. Reportedly, lots of government employees already enter the White House daily with personal devices sharing a pocket with their government-issued BlackBerry smartphones. “The line between work and home in terms of technology is beginning to blur,” Vivek Kundra, the United States’ chief information officer said, noting that government workers “despise” government issued devices. Kundra has begun discussing the possibility of allowing government employees to carry the device of their choice, whether it’s an iPhone or an Android powered device; private app stores could then be used to install secure applications on those platforms. Similarly, the U.S. General Services Administration may look to other consumer technologies to save money — the group estimates that its plan to move 17,000 of its employees to Gmail could save 50% in expenses over the next five years. The switch to consumer devices is already proliferating on Capitol Hill: The Washington Post said that Congress already allows the iPhone and iPad on the floor of the House, about 300 Pacific Northwest National Laboratory employees have switched from a BlackBerry to an iPhone, and the ATF has roughly 50 iPhone/iPad units, and has plans to bump that number to 100.

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