The White House takes aim at Big Brother bosses.


A photo of the White House

During the pandemic, we saw a shift in people working from home. One problem with this is that there is no physical way to ensure employees do their jobs. As a result, employers asked employees to install tracking software on their computers. Similar tracking technologies exist in the workplace to track performance.

The White House has said it is concerned about this extreme level of tracking and has issued a public Request for Information (RFI) To learn more, it seeks input from employees and employers, as well as research information to help develop new policy responses. Ultimately, it wants workers to be treated with dignity and have the opportunity to form a union, if they want, without pressure from their employer.

Listing some examples of where widespread tracking is used, the White House said:

  • Nurses are required to wear RFID badges that track their location and proximity to other hospital workers or patients.
  • Speed, location and acceleration of rideshare and delivery drivers are monitored.
  • Office workers have software on their computers that records their mouse and keyboard activity.
  • Call center workers are heavily tracked by electronic monitoring. And
  • Warehouse packers and stockers use scanners that also track their work speed.

According to the White House, these technologies can put pressure on employees to work very quickly. It poses risks to physical and mental health, he said. It also highlighted that when employees’ communications are monitored, it can prevent them from exercising their rights to form a union. This can expose employees to discrimination when it comes to things like pay, discipline and promotion.

Like artificial intelligence, technology in general has already shaken up the relationship between employers and employees. By policing the use of monitoring technologies, it can help level the playing field between these two groups of people.


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