back to article Don't snoop on staff via wearables, says Dutch privacy agency

The Netherlands' Data Protection Authority has decided that even with consent, companies shouldn't use fitness trackers to monitor their employees. Its argument is that there's an asymmetry between employer and employee that's likely to make staff feel they need to say “yes” if the boss starts handing out Fitbits (or whatever …

Silver badge

good decision

Its argument is that there's an asymmetry between employer and employee that's likely to make staff feel they need to say “yes”

I wonder how many other situations there are where that asymmetry could be an issue for privacy.

11
0
Silver badge

Re: good decision

"I wonder how many other situations there are where that asymmetry could be an issue for privacy."

Facebook At Work?

https://work.fb.com/ (be careful, it's a Facebook site so drops cookies and browser data without consent)

1
0
Anonymous Coward

Oh really?

BeBright told the outlet it wasn't going to quibble with the judgement, saying it's the authority's role to “investigate where the line is”

Any company with even the remotest sense of what is right would already have known where the line was.

16
0
Silver badge

Re: Oh really?

Any company with even the remotest sense of what is right would already have known where the line was.

Sorry, can't resist:

BeB̶r̶i̶g̶h̶t̶Dim

1
1
Silver badge

Re: Oh really?

> Any company with even the remotest sense of what is right would already have known where the line was.

Since this is self-evident, I assume either:

a) we don't know the whole story (eg the company set up a server for employees to monitor their health, but since it was a company server they also had access to it... or some other convoluted story) or

b) this company is severely dysfunctional.

Hmm. Maybe b) is just as likely as a).

2
0

Re: Oh really?

actually, it's C) : it's a Bong­¡-type consultancy, mainly operating in the healthcare administration and regulation business.

Dutch consultancy speak is ..different.. from english and doesn't translate well, but imagine their web page being full of the pro-active thinkfluencing with a Smile! guff you can expect from the british equivalent. To quote Marvin: "It's all rather sad, really..." Pictures say more than words.. look at the way they present their consultants.. doesn't need translation, really.

And they're definitely the type of company where this kind of thing would be seen as a Pilot Project into the Bright Future etc.. They *probably* intended to use this as a showcase for the potential of these devices for outpatient monitoring ( where it makes sense ) without considering that the way they've gone about it would push a couple of Buttons in the privacy department.

1
0
Big Brother

Be seeing you

I will not be pushed, filed, stamped, indexed, briefed, debriefed or numbered.

10
2
Silver badge

Re: Be seeing you

> I will not be pushed, filed, stamped, indexed, briefed, debriefed or numbered.

Is that a quote from something? I assume I'm missing context, because in virtually every company over about 100 employees, staff are given numbers, briefings and debriefings are common (if not daily) and everything is indexed.

1
2
Black Helicopters

Re: Be seeing you

Actually most of that opening interchange is unnervingly appropriate...

6 What do you want?

2 Information.

6 Whose side are you on?

2 That would be telling. We want information...information...information!

6 You won't get it!

2 By hook or by crook, we will.

6
1
Silver badge

100 is generous

I deal with a number of small companies of less than 10 people and I can assure you that some sort of ID is used in every case to identify who wrote what and when.

Besides, you are already stamped, indexed, filed and numbered since you were born, and moreso when you get paid a salary. Do you think your local Tax Office is using your picture to know who you are ?

0
2

Re: Be seeing you @AndyS

Is that a quote from something?

Yes The Prisoner.

5
0

Re: Be seeing you

“Do Not Fold, Spindle, or Mutilate” was a phrase used on paper documents, like checks, that were also punched cards. Extra holes were not kind to card readers, sorters, etc.

2
0
Silver badge

Re: Be seeing you @AndyS / The Prisoner

A series well worth watching (again) - although it was made in the late 1960ies it's surprisingly (or eeriely) topical: total surveillance, mind control, AI, total immersion virtual reality, the fight for privacy...

5
0
Silver badge

Re: Be seeing you

I am human being - do not fold, spindle or bend.

0
0

I am not a 'consumer'

I am a human being!

6
0
Black Helicopters

Re: I am not a 'consumer'

Nope... according to the kind of mentality working in personnel departments, you are a number, data of which is to be collected, collated, cross-referenced, and, if possible, sold at a profit. And I've seen that happen at a company with a total of less than 20 employees.

1
0
Silver badge

Re: I am not a 'consumer'

"Ha ha ha ha ha!"

(Yes, this is also a quote from The Prisoner)

4
0

Re: I am not a 'consumer'

You're thinking of Human Resources, not Personnel, departments. Can't remember when I last heard of the latter - the last one died some time around 1980, I think.*

* couldn't compete with the U.S. strain.

1
0
Silver badge
Facepalm

WTF

Boss: Wear this fitbit

Employee: OK.

I don't think so...

1
0

I would

attach the fitbit to my dog's collar and let my pooch baffle their analysis.

6
0
Silver badge

Re: I would

Better still: any migratory bird.

An Arctic tern would maximise bafflement, but it might not be able to carry it.

No doubt an African swallow could carry it, but then it doesn't migrate

3
0
Silver badge
Happy

Re: Better still: any migratory bird.

Boos: Why were you in Machu Piccu?

Worker: Look- I still am. Don't forget my overtime...

1
0

Re: African swallow [...] doesn't migrate

Not fully laden, no, of course not - it doesn't have the necessary airspeed velocity.

1
0
Silver badge

Re: I would

A "Wandering Albatross" maybe..

or I am surprised that no one on "The Reg" came up with something like

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lappet-faced_vulture or https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Griffon_vulture

0
0
Silver badge
Coat

Track this boss

I am surprised there is no "Big Bang Theory" reference yet...

The solution to wearing trackers...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PnTXqqCVaSI

Mine's the one with the uncharged FitFit in the pocket.

0
0

POST COMMENT House rules

Not a member of The Register? Create a new account here.

  • Enter your comment

  • Add an icon

Anonymous cowards cannot choose their icon

Forums

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2017