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The real time tracking of your work day. What could go wrong?



Will tracking of workers’ office behaviors in a Canadian consulting firm be coming to your workplace?  From How new data-collection technology might change office culture:

Imagine a tiny microphone embedded in the ID badge dangling from the lanyard around your neck.

The mic is gauging the tone of your voice and how frequently you are contributing in meetings. Hidden accelerometers measure your body language and track how often you push away from your desk.

At the end of each day, the badge will have collected roughly four gigabytes worth of data about your office behaviour.

Think this is far-fetched? Well, last winter employees at the consulting firm Deloitte in St. John’s used these very badges, which are being touted as the next frontier in office innovation.


What is the reason for this data tracking?

The information from the badges, which were created by the Boston-based company Humanyze, was gathered anonymously, and workers were given personalized dashboards that benchmarked their performance against that of the group.

“The minute that you get the report that you’re not speaking enough and that you don’t show leadership, immediately, the next day, you change your behaviour,” says Silvia Gonzalez-Zamora, an analytics leader at Deloitte, who steered the Newfoundland pilot.

“It’s powerful to see how people want to display better behaviours or the behaviours that you’re moving them towards.”


Cass Sunstein and The Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary must be proud that adults and not just children are being nudged to become the leaders businesses require.  The personalized dashboards in the workplace are a continuum of the personalized dashboards present in educational data tracking.  From Common Core: “We Have to Lead the Masses to the Promised Land by Deception”:


Who could forget Commissioner Chris Nicastro’s admiration of Cass Sunstein as noted in Missouri’s first Race to the Top application?  From and the Missouri application (pg 9):

Core Student Learning and Outcomes Goals
The Race to the Top has provided an unprecedented opportunity for Missouri to bring its citizens together, to identify common goals and to develop a plan for a decade of educational reform designed to give Missouri’s children a competitive edge in tomorrow’s international competition. Our vision for reform embraces the notion advanced in the book, Nudge, where Thaler and Sunstein outline the need for “choice architects” to subtly steer choices toward positive results while leaving people, districts and schools “free to choose”.  We know that if Missouri’s public schools are to be the best choice for our citizens, they must produce the best results. This Race to the Top competition has provided the “nudge” Missouri needed to pick up the pace.
Missouri Education Chris Nicastro based her proposal to Race to the Top on this theory; perhaps she is employing the current theory present throughout all the government entities; schools, the EPA, the Department of Education and the State Department. Here’s an excerpt from the book’s review:
Every day, we make decisions on topics ranging from personal investments to schools for our children to the meals we eat to the causes we champion. Unfortunately, we often choose poorly. The reason, the authors explain, is that, being human, we all are susceptible to various biases that can lead us to blunder. Our mistakes make us poorer and less healthy; we often make bad decisions involving education, personal finance, health care, mortgages and credit cards, the family, and even the planet itself.

Thaler and Sunstein invite us to enter an alternative world, one that takes our humanness as a given. They show that by knowing how people think, we can design choice environments that make it easier for people to choose what is best for themselves, their families, and their society. Using colorful examples from the most important aspects of life, Thaler and Sunstein demonstrate how thoughtful “choice architecture” can be established to nudge us in beneficial directions without restricting freedom of choice. 


It’s truly cradle to grave tracking which is a Chamber of Commerce goal for its human capital.  Pity the introvert and deep thinker who may approach his/her work life in a different way from his/her extroverted coworker or boss.  If thinking and working independently are not leadership qualities in a particular company, will the introvert be passed over for promotion or fired because of his/her personality or data set?  Data tracking utilizing educational dashboards (supposedly for student personalized learning) is now seamlessly transferred to workforce dashboards benefiting the company.  That is the goal of the workforce development in the United States.  Education is ultimately not for the student; it’s to benefit the workforce.  From The Business Roundtable:


business roundtable
Click on graphic to enlarge



More from Canada:

For companies, being open about how employee data is being collected and for what purpose is crucial, says Ann Cavoukian, executive director of Ryerson’s Privacy and Big Data Institute in Toronto.

Cavoukian, who was Ontario’s information and privacy commissioner from 1997 to 2014, notes however that businesses have every right to monitor their employees’ performance.

“You’re there to work, you’re being paid,” she said, “And if it is made very clear to you that we monitor your emails … then the employee has the choice whether they want to work in a workplace like that.

“I think it is unreasonable to think that workplaces and employers are not going to use every means available to increase efficiency and productivity.”  ~~MEW bolded



Cavoukian’s beliefs on Big Data and privacy issues may be found on her twitter feed here.  Privacy adherents created a parody account here:





Killing privacy is my life’s work.  Is data tracking and nudging human behavior for the good of society now the blueprint for NGOs and governmental organizations?  Can humans ever be considered as having the capacity for growth and insight without being tracked via a personalized cradle to grave data set?  You wonder if that phrase is on Common Core proponents’ office walls.

The Common Core Initiative: It’s the vehicle for the data in which human behavior is manipulated to align with NGO determined acceptable data sets.  Remember the Thaler and Sunstein book (Nudge) review: They show that by knowing how people think, we can design choice environments that make it easier for people to choose what is best for themselves, their families, and their society.  Now you can see how valuable and necessary your data is to NGOs and choice architects beyond the K16 time frame.

Graphic accessed here.




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