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About remote device management

Exchange ActiveSync v16.1 supports two different remote wipe processes:

  1. Wipe Data
  2. Account Only Remote Wipe Device.

There are important differences between how Outlook responds and how native mail apps on iOS and Android respond to these different wipe commands.

Outlook for iOS and Android

Outlook for iOS and Outlook for Android support only the Wipe Data command, which wipes only data within Outlook. The Outlook app will reset and all Outlook email, calendar, contacts, and file data will be removed, but no other data is wiped from the device. The Account Only Remote Wipe Device command is therefore redundant and is not supported by Outlook for iOS or Android.

Native iOS and Android mail apps

However, if a native iOS or Android mail app is connected to Exchange and receives a Wipe Data command from Exchange ActiveSync, all data on the device will be wiped, including photos, personal files, and so on. If a native iOS or Android mail app is connected to Exchange and receives an Account Only Remote Wipe Device command from Exchange ActiveSync, only the native mail app's Exchange ActiveSync mail, calendar and account data are wiped.

UIS isn't using any of these capabilities on users' devices.

Can UIS remotely manage my device?

UIS cannot install or remove apps, set or enforce any security policies or generally snoop on your device. The data on your device is only accessible to you and you are responsible for the security settings of your device.

The data on your device is only accessible to you.

Alerts during installation of the Outlook app

During the installation of the Outlook mobile app on your device set-up process, you might see an alert window asking you to agree to remote administration of some security features on your device, e.g.:

"Adding an Exchange account will allow the Exchange administrator to remotely manage your device. The administrator may collect personal data, add/remove accounts and restrictions, list, install, and manage apps, and remotely erase data on your device." 

or

alert message about remote wipe feature

In order to complete the installation, you will need either to implicitly accept this or be required to click OK to close to proceed (this varies by the version of the Outlook app).

What am I agreeing to when I set up my Exchange Online mailbox on my personal device?

In the context of the University, you are acknowledging that you understand Exchange Online includes the ability to remove Outlook app data from your device remotely or, if you are using your device's native email client, perform a factory reset.

What if I don't want to accept?

If you are not happy to accept this, do not set up any email app on your device to connect to your Exchange Online mailbox. You should use the browser-based Outlook Web App (OWA) instead.

Can I remotely manage my device?

If you have configured either the Outlook app or the device's native email app, then yes. The Outlook Web App will show you any devices that are synchronizing with your Exchange Online mailbox.

Under Settings > General > Mobile devices you can manage your devices, including perform one of the appropriate wipe options listed above.

See: Perform a Remote Wipe on a mobile phone

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