Just to add on, it reminded me of this quote from Laszlo Bock interview: “In my mind, there is a very clean line between personal data in your home and personal life and personal data at work, and you should never cross that line—unless you’re asked by an individual to marry those data sets, and their company approves and they approve.”
Wow, I’m really glad to hear ConnectMe doesn’t seem to exist anymore because I completely agree with your points – the risks definitely outweigh the potential benefits, in my opinion. We get this enough from targeted ads and marketing tactics. While I understand the intention and can appreciate the sentiment to an extent, it also feels highly inappropriate and crosses several boundaries. I feel like personal information at that level should either be voluntarily and directly shared by the employee or solicited very transparently with a clear intention. We all know humans are susceptible to biased behavior and also underestimate the power of these biases at the same time, so how do we know that news of a pregnancy won’t subconsciously cause a supervisor to find other reasons why that parent shouldn’t be up for a promotion or change health insurance options knowing an employee might have significant medical care? Really interesting topic, Mary – thank you!
Hold on a minute, so are you telling me that I have been stocking up on chicken with the recent jump in gas prices for no reason? What a mind cluck… Jokes aside, I really appreciated your thoughts on this growing trend in people analytics. With the rise of technology and expansion of data science, I absolutely agree with your assessment that there is benefit and value to promoting “best practices with regard to data collection, handling, and analysis.” What resonated with me from your opinions here is that there is a careful balancing act between the human and resources, just as much so between the people and analytics. Veering too far from the center runs the risk of acting on intuition versus evidence or lacking sense in a wave of data overload. No doubt that it’s your awareness of all this that makes you such a strong leader. Thanks for the awesome share, Sam!
Hi, Peizhen! First off, I love the Orwellian title of your blog post – definitely caught my attention. You also make really great points around the ethics of using data, as well as cases when privacy or baked-in bias was an issue. After the AirBnB case, I asked my friend who works there if they recalled receiving any disclosure about the scraping of email and Slack for network analyses or answering questions about who their work friends are. Safe to say, they did not recall this buried in their email log. It also made me think about the cultural differences in our attitudes when it comes to privacy and surveillance. An interviewer once asked a person living under an authoritarian government how they feel about people monitoring their data, and the person said people should have nothing to worry about if they aren’t doing anything wrong. Lots to unpack there! Thanks so much for sharing such a thought-provoking piece 🙂