Privacy In the Workplace


It is well known that rapidly evolving technology will have a substantial impact on the nature of work for most people, as increasingly complex automation and artificial intelligence systems take on more of the “traditional” jobs done by humans.

Technology and employer-employee relationship

The same technologies will also affect the privacy of human workers in the workplace. For example, Amazon recently patented a tech “bracelet” to allow it to monitor its workers more closely with regards to their efficiency, direct them to the correct tasks, but also to monitor them in more personal areas like during washroom breaks. Such blatant violations of a worker’s privacy in a setting (washroom) that would surely be universally considered to be a private space speaks to the vast potential that these technologies have to reshape the relationship between workers and employers.

Of course, Amazon has the right to demand a standard of efficiency from their employees and to take certain steps to ensure that those standards are being fulfilled. But, do we want to live in a society where the quest for greater efficiency and productivity eliminates any conception of privacy for workers?

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