FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:
Some are calling it "spyware”.
Microsoft is working on office software that can remotely monitor a worker's productivity, physical wellbeing and competence.
"The Times" of London reports that Microsoft has filed a patent application for this Big-Brother style computer system that would link workers to their computers through wireless sensors that measure their metabolism. It would then let managers monitor their employees' performance by measuring things like their heart rate, body temperature, movement, facial expression and blood pressure.
This use of this kind of technology has previously been limited to people like pilots, firefighters and NASA astronauts. It's believed to be the first time a company is proposing it for more mainstream use.
Critics say this kind of system would "take the idea of monitoring people at work to a new level.” They call it intrusive and say it raises serious privacy issues.
The U.S. patent office confirmed the application was published last month, and patent lawyers say it could be granted within a year.
Microsoft refused to comment on the patent application, but said they have over 7,000 patents worldwide and they are proud "of the quality of these patents and the innovations they represent.”
Here’s my question to you: Do you see anything wrong with office software that would allow managers to monitor their workers remotely?
Interested to know which ones made it on air?
Thomas from South Carolina writes:
A private employer should be able to monitor employees however it wants. If they cross the line, they will realize it when they don't have any employees left.
The fact of the matter is that too many people get by in the workplace by doing the bare minimum. That is one of the main problems with this country: every day it’s built deeper into the fabric of this society not to work hard, because someone else is working harder for you. A system like this would hopefully help raise productivity.
Jack, I think we as human beings need to dig deeper to find our humanity these days, and this is a step as far in the opposite direction as we could possibly go. We need a follow up entitled "It's Gotten Even Uglier Out There (in a very short time)."
This software sounds great. Let's get our elected officials in the pilot program.
Spyware in the workplace that monitors physiology, productivity, etc., is absolutely ridiculous and revolting. Even if the employee voluntarily submitted to such a privacy intrusion, the legal implications are enormous. Its use should be prohibited by law.
No, absolutely nothing wrong with it. It seems like the only people that don’t like being monitored are those that have performance problems.
How will I then be able to coast through a workday for a job I'm under-qualified for? Surely I'm not the only one out there!
In the old days, there was a guy with a whip to encourage you to row harder. Now a guy can use the whip remotely. That's what I call PROGRESS!