Sensors track employee behavior in the office

Companies in the U.S. are putting sensors in the workplace that know when you leave your desk.


NSFW    WASHINGTON — You may not know it, but your company could be keeping tabs on you, planting sensors in the lights, under your desk or even in your badge.

Bloomberg reports that companies who use such devices claim the goal is less about allowing employers to snoop on workers and more about efficiency and practicality.

Sensors, like those made by Enlighted, are often embedded in inconspicuous places like light fixtures. They detect motion and can track employees’ behavior patterns, allowing a back-end system to adjust lighting and temperature accordingly, and thus save on energy costs.

U.S. employers are legally allowed to monitor the workplace, so long as they exclude the bathroom. And some bosses are fully utilizing that right.

Employees at the Boston Consulting Group have badges equipped with a microphone and GPS to track physical and verbal interaction in the office.

Soon, colleagues and higher-ups could forego emails and messaging. Enlighted is developing a new badge that allows specific individuals to be tracked using a locator paired with an app.

On the bright side, data collected from these devices are anonymized. This means individual employees won’t leave an electronic trail that would allow employers to eavesdrop. But that’s what every company that tracks your data says.
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