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I have recently landed a role through a recruiter. For some reason, they are asking for the firm I will be working for what the make/model of the phone I have in order for provisioning. I am not sure exactly why this is the case, and why the company would need the make/model of my phone. I can assume it may be for 2FA, or the company having custom software for company apps.

However, I feel this may be unnecessary and I am not sure if this would be a complex phishing scheme/monitoring scheme on the hand of the recruiting firm (perhaps they're trying to get as much info from me for whatever reason). I think perhaps this is a way to market/sell my information. I am curious as to know if anyone else has had a similar type of request of asking for make/model. I understand due to COVID-19 and more extensive remote work, Citrix and Zoom are being utilized, but this seems quite odd to me.

Does anyone have any idea what rationale an employer/recruiting firm may have for asking the make and model of my cell phone? And what kind of process is involved in "provisioning" my phone? For reference, the recruiting firm is an old and established recruiting firm, and the firm I will be working for as a consultant is a large financial institution.

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  • I have asked, but the recruiter (my go-between before starting) just told me it's for onboarding, which is a vague answer. I've already asked on a couple occasions.
    – qxzsilver
    Feb 2, 2021 at 1:00
  • However, I feel this may be unnecessary... Because you think it's not necessary to know for 2FA or custom apps or because you're concerned the company isn't using either and hasn't asked for that information?
    – BSMP
    Feb 2, 2021 at 3:00
  • What's your location? In Europe, such information may be considered personal data (for example, the recruiter can identify you by the model of the device you use to access their website, if the model is not too common). Therefore it may be protected by GDPR. But IANAL. Feb 3, 2021 at 11:42
  • You're saying you have a signed contract and you're worried... about giving your phone details over???
    – bharal
    Feb 3, 2021 at 15:17

2 Answers 2

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This is most likely for some kind of secure app deployment that lets you access corporate e-mail/apps from your personal device. This is pretty common for companies with BYOD policies.

There's nothing abnormal about this question, and has very little utility as a phishing or marketing ploy.

One thing to keep in mind, however, is whether the company can remote wipe your phone. Depending on the company or role, these apps may or may not be optional.

Ultimately, if you really want to know why, you'll have to ask the company. It's highly, highly unlikely to be malicious, but you may still have legitimate concerns with the intended use.

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  • 'most likely for some kind of secure app deployment that lets you access corporate e-mail' because the company thinks it can quickly knock up something in-house that's more secure than standards-compliant IMAPS and SMTPS, right? Feb 3, 2021 at 14:18
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    BTW, if the company does insist on installing some unusual closed-source app on your 'phone, there's a strong case for buying a cheap burner 'phone just for this purpose, especially if they insist on remote wipe permission. Feb 3, 2021 at 14:25
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    If a company insists you use your personal phone for work apps and or data there’s also the option of asking your company to supply you a phone.
    – Dan K
    Feb 4, 2021 at 7:01
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@darkside's answer is by far the most likely explanation, but there are a couple of other possibilities:

  • the company is trying to game CoViD-19 track and trace apps, and wants to know how big a Bluetooth antenna you have in order to decide how far away to seat you from your colleagues;
  • the company intends to provide you with a 'phone charger at your desk, and is trying to determine what kind of connector to supply.

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