It’s a conundrum: Companies want employees to be satisfied with their corporate services, but great user experiences in this context can require a certain amount of employee tracking that could affect employees’ views about workplace privacy. Even M doesn’t really want to know whether James Bond prefers his martini shaken, not stirred, but it may be incidental to the CCTV cameras in the MI6 café that keep assassins at bay! Companies have to manage potentially complex trade-offs between employee privacy, company security and user experience, including services such as BYOD programs, context-aware apps and even call monitoring for quality assurance.
Why do companies track employee data and behaviors?
In some instances, they have legal obligations to do so—safety and security, for example. But companies also want to prevent data/IP loss, improve productivity (are we cyberloafing AGAIN? Of course we are!), set appropriate cost standards, avoid liability for employee malfeasance, investigate misconduct and improve—or even predict—user experiences. In addition, a recent study by Aruba Networks states that 40 percent of Middle Easterners, 45 percent of Europeans and 66 percent of Americans fear loss of personal data from their employer, which leads them to try and hide their use of personal devices at work, and fail to report data loss or breaches. So we can’t necessarily trust all employees to appropriately manage their own behaviors.