Given the increase in workplace litigation and fears about loss of productivity and profit, many employers are turning to workplace surveillance to monitor their employees activities. workplace privacy Microsoft Developing Workplace Surveillance System to 'Score’ Meeting Productivity. Posted by msmash on Thursday November 26, 2020 @01:18PM from the closer-look dept. Several enterprises, including … Microsoft has been accused by privacy campaigners of building a set of tools into Windows365, which enable employers to conduct workplace surveillance at an individual level . Turns out Workplace Surveillance Has Been Happening For 100 Years. Insights are intended to help organisations make the most of their technology investments by addressing common pain points like long boot times, inefficient document collaboration, or poor network connectivity. “No one in the organisation will be able to use productivity score to access data about how an individual user is using apps and services in Microsoft 365.”. The roots of workplace monitoring stretch back to the 20th century, to Frederick Taylor and his … Tool allows managers to use Microsoft 365 to track their employees’ activity, Last modified on Wed 2 Dec 2020 08.48 EST. A recent patent application reveals Microsoft is developing a “meeting insight computing system” that would monitor body language, facial expressions, and other features of participants in order to assign a “quality score” to workplace … Workplace Surveillance. Microsoft … “At Microsoft, we believe that data-driven insights are crucial to empowering people and organisations to achieve more,” Jared Spataro, the corporate vice president for Microsoft 365, said in a statement. Workplace surveillance has become a particularly prevalent concern this year, with the pandemic pushing more people to work from home. “Productivity score produces a score for the organisation and was never designed to score individual users,” Spataro adds. The societal shift to work from home and Zoom-led education has been a boon for makers of digital surveillance software. Data researcher Wolfie Christl, who first drew attention … But that information could also be seen on a user-by-user basis, potentially allowing managers to identify individual employees who weren’t contributing enough, or using tools in the right way. The CVP argued that the tool was never intended to be used for the purposes of employee surveillance, but instead as a means for IT teams to glean data insights into how Microsoft … The company is also changing its branding around the feature to make clear that the “productivity” that is being scored is that of organisations, not individuals. First, it establishes that organizations and surveillance go hand in hand; and that workplace surveillance can take social and technological forms. But the response has not reassured all critics. Microsoft's Workplace Analytics lets employers monitor data such as time spent on email, meeting time or time spent working after hours. In addition, surveillance … The main contributions of workplace monitoring in access control … 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. The company says it will now make changes to the service, which lets IT administrators “help their people get the most” from its products, in order to limit the amount of information about individual employees that is shared with managers. The workplace panopticon is coming home. Microsoft has come under censure from a privacy advocate who reckons its Microsoft 365 Productivity Score feature is a "full-fledged workplace surveillance tool". Now, researchers are criticizing the tool for enabling workplace surveillance … Insights are shown in aggregate over a 28-day period and are provided at the user level so that an IT admin can provide technical support and guidance.”, “We are committed to privacy as a fundamental element of productivity score,” wrote Jared Spataro, the corporate vice-president for Microsoft 365, in online documentation. Launched earlier this month, … Jeffrey Snover, a veteran Microsoft engineer and CTO of the company’s “modern workforce transformation” unit, praised the change and thanked Wolfie Christl, the Austrian privacy activist who first raised alarm about the feature, for the feedback. The tools, first released in 2019, are designed to “give you visibility into how your organization works,” according to a Microsoft … This is so problematic at many levels:- Managers evaluating individual-level employee data is a no go- Any evaluation of group 'productivity' data can also shift power from employees to organizations- Employee self control via MyAnalytics is the first step to normalization, - Not least, Microsoft gets the power to define highly arbitrary metrics that will potentially affect the daily lives of millions of employees and even shape how organizations function, “Employers are increasingly exploiting metadata logged by software and devices for performance analytics and algorithmic control,” Christl added. Microsoft recently introduced a new feature that gamifies workplace surveillance for remote workers during the pandemic. 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. Critics argued that Productivity Score was essentially a workplace surveillance tool that would allow organizations to keep tabs on how often individual employees did things like send email … Microsoft says it will removing individual user names from the productivity score entirely. Employers can legally monitor almost anything an employee does at work as long as the … A new feature to calculate 'productivity scores' turns Microsoft 365 into an full-fledged workplace surveillance … “We also believe that privacy is a human right, and we’re deeply committed to the privacy of every person who uses our products.”. Esoteric metrics based on analyzing extensive data about employee activities has been mostly the domain of fringe software vendors. Productivity score potentially allowed managers to identify individual employees who weren’t contributing enough, First published on Wed 2 Dec 2020 08.35 EST. Employers are increasingly using information and communication technologies to monitor employees. tweeted the Austrian researcher Wolfie Christl. “This is so problematic at many levels,” tweeted the Austrian researcher Wolfie Christl, who raised alarm about the feature. It also provides a platform for emerging startups and entrepreneurs to showcase their product to … “Just as the reputation of a new and better company was being built, they detonate it with the most invasive workplace surveillance scheme yet to hit mainstream. “The word dystopian is not nearly strong enough to describe the fresh hellhole Microsoft just opened up,” tweeted David Heinemeier Hansson, co-founder of the office productivity suite Basecamp. >The Microsoft … Now it's built into MS 365. Microsoft to tweak its productivity tracking tool after workplace surveillance complaint ... after employees at some companies said the tool is used for workplace surveillance… When … 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. 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. In June, the research firm … Privacy advocates have panned a new productivity tool in Microsoft 365, warning that it could herald a new era of workplace surveillance. Practices we know from software development (and factories and call centres) are expanded to all white-collar work.”, In a statement, a Microsoft spokesperson said: “Productivity score is an opt-in experience that gives IT administrators insights about technology and infrastructure usage. Such workplace surveillance is extensive in the United States, but its experience and potential consequences differ across groups based on gender. The core use-case of the productivity score service is at an organisational level: administrators can use it to see technical information about their network, and also to understand how employees are using features such as chatrooms and scheduling tools. Microsoft productivity score feature criticised as workplace surveillance Tool allows managers to use Microsoft 365 to track their employees’ activity Employee … “Having to worry about looking busy for the stats is the last thing we need to inflict on anyone right now.”. “Going forward, the communications, meetings, content collaboration, teamwork and mobility measures in productivity score will only aggregate data at the organisation level – providing a clear measure of organisation-level adoption of key features,” Spataro says. Shortly after being released it faced backlash from privacy advocates, who claimed it would herald a new era of workplace surveillance. “The thing I love most about Microsoft is that when we screw up, we acknowledge the error and fix it,” Snover tweeted. We thus sought to identify whether self‐reported male and female employees differ in the extent to which they find the use of workplace … 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 … When it comes to surveillance at work, you may be surprised at what your employer can legally do. Productivity score is about discovering new ways of working, providing your people with great collaboration and technology experiences … For example, to help maintain privacy and trust, the user data provided in productivity score is aggregated over a 28-day period.”. Personal data gathering, Internet and … Microsoft’s “Productivity Score” Feature Enables Workplace Surveillance Featured Jane Harper - November 30, 2020 American tech giant Microsoft has come under fire for rolling out its … The following are the main types of surveillance used in the workplace: 1. Now, Microsoft says, it will removing individual user names from the productivity score entirely. Microsoft has been criticised for adding what one critic called a “full-fledged workplace surveillance tool” into its Microsoft 365 bundle, in the form of a new Productivity … Employee surveillance has increased alongside remote working during the coronavirus pandemic, say experts. “MS is providing the tools for it. Again, whether or not people have complained about the other, existing workplace surveillance tools has absolutely no bearing the accurate description of Microsoft's new "feature" as a workplace surveillance tool. Microsoft has apologised for enabling a feature, “productivity score”, which critics said was tantamount to workplace surveillance. The … The need for workplace surveillance has increased over recent years due to the rapid introduction of new technologies and systems worldwide. “A new feature to calculate 'productivity scores' turns Microsoft 365 into an full-fledged workplace surveillance tool.” Workplace Analytics is hardly a hidden feature in … Microsoft has come under fire for allowing “workplace surveillance” after privacy advocates warned that the company’s “productivity scoring” feature allows managers to use Windows 365 to track their employees’ activity to individual level. Microsoft has been criticised for enabling "workplace surveillance" after privacy … Last year, Microsoft added a ‘privacy score’ feature to its Microsoft 365 suite of software tools — formerly called Office 365. TechPluto covers the latest news and events from the tech & startup industry. “Being under constant surveillance in the workplace is psychological abuse,” Heinemeier Hansson added. “Let me be clear: productivity score is not a work monitoring tool. Workplace surveillance plays vital role in the physical access control security systems to improve business and asset security. Microsoft Workplace Surveillance According to Microsoft, this new feature is designed to help organizations speed up digital-transformation projects during the pandemic, … If that sounds like an Orwellian nightmare in the making to you, you’re not alone—privacy experts are criticizing the company for essentially gamifying workplace surveillance. 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