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12 December 2018
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THINK TANK: IMPLANTING MICROCHIPS: A DIGITAL STEP TOO FAR?

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Is microchipping staff acceptable? © Shutterstock

3 December 2018 | Herpreet Kaur Grewal


Will IoT security technology become more popular in the workplace?

 

Recently, Swedish microchip implant company Biohax told a British newspaper that it was in talks with a number of UK legal and financial firms to implant staff with its devices. One prospective client was a major financial services firm with “hundreds of thousands of employees.”

 

”These companies have sensitive documents they are dealing with,” Jowan Österlund, the founder of Biohax and a former professional body piercer told the newspaper. “[The chips] would allow them to set restrictions for whoever.”

 

This was met with resistance from TUC General Secretary Frances O'Grady, who said: “We know workers are already concerned that some employers are using tech to control and micro-manage, whittling away their staff’s right to privacy.

 

“Microchipping would give bosses even more power and control over their workers. There are obvious risks involved, and employers must not brush them aside, or pressure staff into being chipped.

 

“Employers should always discuss and agree to workplace monitoring policies with their workforces. Unions can negotiate agreements that safeguard workers’ privacy, while still making sure the job gets done. But the law needs to change too so that workers are better protected against excessive and intrusive surveillance.”

 

At November's Worktech event, Neil Steele of Asure Software said that "sensor-based data collection was “in and accepted" – but that the worker's "perception [of it] is crucial to its successful adoption in the workplace".

 

For this month's Think Tank, we ask if you agree. Is your organisation monitoring employee behaviours or maintaining security restrictions through IoT technology such as microchipping and sensors? Or is it contemplating doing so?

 

• Yes, it is definitely happening and will only become more popular

 

• No, it is not happening

 

• It is happening in some circumstances but is unlikely to become popular

   

Complete the survey here.

  

Please email newsdesk@fm-world.co.uk with any longer comments.