This smart card looks like an ordinary one at first glance, however, a company in the U.S. has sparked controversy by creating a work monitoring system. It is able to know the location of employees, whether they go to the restroom or other common areas of the office and how long they stay there, even if they were close to other colleagues.
For this reason, freedom advocates are concerned about the human rights implications of this device.
The company that created the controversial smart card is called Humanyze and is being criticized for violating employee rights. But the company defends itself by saying that this is only a solution to measure labor effectiveness and that they work under quality standards and have anonymity practices to protect users.
The smart card is “a unified source of truth?”
On their website, Humanyze presented their system as a “unified source of truth,” so what they intend is that, instead of satisfaction surveys, for example, the data collected by the smart card will help companies make decisions so that:
“Teamwork is successful and highly effective workspaces are generated in which workers want to be.”
The company, founded as Sociometric Solutions in 2010, assures that the use of the smart card is voluntary on the part of employees and that such a decision does not affect the stability of their employment.
However, the main fear that human rights advocates have is that the excessive use of this technology, which constantly monitors employees, violates people’s right to privacy, and, they comment that:
“No interest or measure of vigilance can override human dignity.”
Humanyze, meanwhile, claims that its smart card can measure whether or not users are moving, as well as proximity to connected stations or other card-carrying users. Also, it is possible to know the frequency and duration of personal interactions, but this is only done with the employee’s consent.
But, there is more!
Now, although this smart card sets off alerts about the use of personal data and people’s privacy, this is not the only system that is being implemented.
Video cameras, biometric registration and even microphones located in certain places already exist in some companies. Some have even tested intracutaneous chip systems to give employees access to their workplaces.
What do you think about the use of new technologies to monitor employees?
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