I believe we are on an irreversible trend toward more freedom and democracy — but that could change.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

How evil is Microsoft?

Times reports:

Microsoft is developing Big Brother-style software capable of remotely monitoring a worker’s productivity, physical wellbeing and competence.
The Times has seen a patent application filed by the company for a computer system that links workers to their computers via wireless sensors that measure their metabolism. The system would allow managers to monitor employees’ performance by measuring their heart rate, body temperature, movement, facial expression and blood pressure. Unions said they fear that employees could be dismissed on the basis of a computer’s assessment of their physiological state.
Well, it's not really software that Microsoft will be building into Vista service pack this spring. There is no reason to panic right away. It's only a patent that is in extremely bad taste. Still, for a company spending hundreds of millions on public image and good will, it's an insanely stupid idea to patent.

However, if there is software like that on the market, do not assume that an employer will not be able to deploy it at your place of work. At least here in the USA. America may be a democracy, but not at work. You do not elect your boss or hold primaries for the position of the CEO of your company.

Your employer most likely had you sign an employment agreement (it was that paper you signed without reading while you were still flying on the high of being hired in the first place...) that specifically tells you that you should have no expectation of privacy at your place of work.

One more reason to use Ubuntu!!

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Silicone Valley, United States
I am a cantankerous man living and working in the Silicon Valley where reading books is an abomination that is virtually unheard of, frowned upon and may be detrimental to one's career. I avoid censure by never conceding that I ever read or owned a book in my life. If anyone accidentally glimpses my scant proficiency in any subject matter, I immediately accredit it to having glanced at DrudgeReport that day.

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