8) THE BOSS WILL BE WATCHING YOU...
recent news report on CNBC says, "The emergence of sensor and other
technologies that let businesses track, listen to and even watch employees
while on company time is raising concern about corporate levels of
surveillance. Earlier this year, Amazon received a patent for an ultrasonic
bracelet that can detect a warehouse worker's location and monitor their
interaction with inventory bins by using ultrasonic sound pulses. The system
can track when and where workers put in or remove items from the bins. An
Amazon spokesperson said the company has "no plans to introduce this
technology" but that, if implemented in the future, could free up associates'
hands, which now hold scanners to check and fulfill orders.
"Walmart last year patented a system that lets the retail
giant listen in on workers and customers. The system can track employee
"performance metrics" and ensure that employees are performing their
jobs efficiently and correctly by listening for sounds such as rustling of bags
or beeps of scanners at the checkout line and can determine the number of items
placed in bags and number of bags. Sensors can also capture sounds from guests
talking while in line and determine whether employees are greeting guests. Walmart spokesman Kory Lundberg said the company doesn't
have any immediate plans to implement the system.
company UPS has been using sensors in their delivery
trucks to track usage to make sure drivers are wearing seat belts and
maintenance is up to date.
are also starting to analyze digital data, such as emails and calendar info, in
the hopes of squeezing more productivity out of their workers. Microsoft's
Workplace Analytics lets employers monitor data such as time spent on email,
meeting time or time spent working after hours. Several enterprises, including
Freddie Mac and CBRE, have tested the system."
article also cites a recent survey by Accenture in which 62% of executives
"said their companies are using new technologies to collect data on people
- from the quality of work to safety and well-being" - even though "fewer than a third said they feel confident they are using
the data responsibly."
Yet the leader of Accenture's talent and organization practice argues that workforce data "could boost revenue by 6.4%. This has encouraged workers to be open to responsible use of data, but they want to know that they will get benefits and return on their time."
(The above article is from the May 1-15, 2019, issue of People's Voice, Canada's leading socialist newspaper. Articles can be reprinted free if the source is credited. Subscription rates in Canada: $30/year, or $15 low income rate; for U.S. readers - $45 US per year; other overseas readers - $45 US or $50 CDN per year. Send to People's Voice, c/o PV Business Manager, 706 Clark Drive, Vancouver, BC, V5L 3J1.)