Complex Made Simple

6 high tech ways your boss can track you and with what  

We all know of camera surveillance at work, but today businesses have the technology to go way beyond that and into uncharted territories, where legal boundaries may cross.

And no matter how much you tell your boss of the futile attempt at improving productivity with these devices, they will continue to do it.

According to WorkTime, a company that tracks respectful employee monitoring, it confirmed that yes UAE employers have the right to monitor employees’ computers, such as desktops, laptops, servers and their Internet activities and yes employers have the right to monitor keystrokes, email content, and screens, but only if employees give their consent.

So AMEinfo brings you all the latest technologies and methods by which your boss(es) track your every move, sometimes off hours as well.

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1- Sensors everywhere

The Financial Times, had an interview with Ben Waber, chief executive of Humanyze, a social sensing and analytics platform that enables companies to quantify social interactions using cutting edge technology.

It found that Waber’s devices hang around people’s necks and feature microphones and sensors, which clock where they are and who they’re talking to (but not what they’re saying).

Waber told Techworld that microphones within the badges can process vocal information to detect whether a person dominates conversations, as well as tone, volume and speed of speech.

“Other companies have developed smart office chairs that know if you are sitting on them,” Waber said.

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2- Smart furniture

Smart furniture makers create desk chairs that vibrate to remind you to stand for a few minutes, build desks that automatically adjusts to your height, but also that monitor your mouse clicks and keystrokes.

Meet integrated smart office solutions company iSOS which created a solution that can help track employees inside office premises.

It comes in the form of a mobile app using beacon technology, a small device which emits Bluetooth that track employees anywhere within the office, like whether they spend too much time on breaks, for example.

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3- GPS

GPS helps employers know where their employees are at, how many detours they have taken and how much time they spend there.

Don’t take a company car because it may track where you spend your nights and weekends.

4- Implants

Some companies are installing radio-frequency identification (RFID) devices between employees’ thumbs and forefingers that log in activities that their hands make, such as who they shake hands with, how long they type or how long they work, as well as  the number of  bathroom breaks they take.

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5- Email, phone and surf spying

BBC reports that for many firms, accessing emails and telephone conversations acts as protection to prevent conflicts of interest, or sharing of sensitive information, with accounting firm Deloitte finding 41% of firms experience revenue loss when suffering damage to the brand’s name.

You may want to know that many companies archive all your emails indefinitely and nothing you write may be private.

Cache clearing does no good to hide what you type. The firewall makes sure of that.

If you use WiFi at work, it’s as if your smart phone is bugged.

The frequency, content and metrics of your computer activity can and will be logged and reviewed and finally every file you access on the server has your imprints on it.

6- Desk traffic lights

A new device called FlowLight can be custom-designed for desks to evaluate how busy someone is by measuring their combined mouse and keyboard activity against that person’s baseline average.

When activity is in the top 9% of their typical range, the light turns red, letting colleagues know that it’s the wrong time to come over and also letting employers know that you are productive.