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Always watching December 3, 2020

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.
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Thought this hugely depressing, from the Guardian, the news that:

Microsoft has been criticised for enabling “workplace surveillance” after privacy campaigners warned that the company’s “productivity score” feature allows managers to use Microsoft 365 to track their employees’ activity at an individual level.

And:

The tools, first released in 2019, are designed to “provide you visibility into how your organisation works”, according to a Microsoft blogpost, and aggregate information about everything from email use to network connectivity into a headline percentage for office productivity.

And:

But by default, reports also let managers drill down into data on individual employees, to find those who participate less in group chat conversations, send fewer emails, or fail to collaborate in shared documents.

But as noted by some critics, the metrics are ‘highly arbitrary’. For example, email use and network connectivity are not necessarily indicative of productivity. Quite the opposite, the might indicate the opposite.

And this is concerning:

Employee surveillance “has really ramped up” alongside remote working during the coronavirus pandemic, as companies seek more oversight of workers away from the office, Dr Claudia Pagliari, a researcher into digital health and society at the University of Edinburgh, told the Guardian in September.

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