The advent of technologies that let businesses track, overhear, and monitor employees on company time is raising issues about corporate surveillance.
Gartner estimated last year that 22% of organizations worldwide in various sectors use employee-movement data, 17% track work-computer-usage data, and 16% access Microsoft Outlook or other calendar-usage data.
Products of interest include Amazon's recently patented ultrasonic bracelet, which can localize warehouse employees and monitor their interaction with inventory bins via sound pulses.
Meanwhile, last year Walmart patented a system for eavesdropping on workers and customers, which tracks employee "performance metrics" to ensure employees are on the job by listening for certain noises.
Some makers of monitoring technologies are developing deployment guidelines to allay employer and employee privacy concerns, but advocates fear worker privacy could be compromised without appropriate regulation.
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