Work-from-home has triggered an explosion in Surveil-from-the-office features and products. There has certainly been a boom in programs specifically for surveillance of employees who are at home. These are creepy, with a reported 81% of the top programs logging keystrokes-- so that the boss can see exactly what you've been typing.
But there's something even more insidious about regular old productivity software being tweaked so that it can do the surveilling as well.
As you might expect, Microsoft has been all over this trend, with fun things like a "productivity score" built into Microsoft 365. And they have friends, like Shield, a product that promises, proudly and without any hint of irony or shame,
We are proud to announce the launch of our integration with Microsoft Teams. The Shield platform is one of the first compliance platforms to provide full surveillance as well as record and search of Microsoft Teams interactions, providing the ability to extract, review and analyze specific conversations to assist with any investigation process.
A Reddit thread from six months ago asked "Could my boss be using teams for surveillance?" and the answer is, "of course." This month a ZDNet article looked at some of the "features" available now for Teams.From what I could see, Teams hoovers up all your chats, voicemails, shared meetings, files, transcriptions, your profile details including your email address and phone number...
I imagined an individual -- or even a whole team -- being summoned by their boss and told: "You didn't respond to 47 Teams messages last month."
What do you say to that? "Well, I suspect those 47 messages were sent by brown-nosing halfwits who send as many Teams messages as possible, so their innate industry shows up on your Teams analytics reports."