Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Your employer is "Big Brother", at least at work

Okay, as a warmup two days before Christmas, here’s a "Career Builder" link to ten ways your employer can spy on you. Don’t worry, these are only things that happen at work; this isn’t about your own online reputation. It appeared on AOL Tuesday. Here's the link.

Note that employers may keep track of how much you print; they may keep track of your whereabouts with your coded ID card (an RFID) or even with a GPS device if you drive a company car. Many jobs do involve a company car, with a mileage charge for personal use.

A lot of jobs (especially in media or sales), however, involve using Twitter or Facebook as part of work, so you need to “proud” enough of what you do to broadcast it with social media.

Another item in the story is cameras at work. Don’t do anything at work (or in public, especially in London, that you wouldn’t want to see yourself in on YouTube.

When I worked for Univac in site support at a New Jersey Utility back in 1972 (it was Public Service in downtown Newark -- a long time ago) I wrote a program (I was assigned to do it) in Univac assembler to analyze the Univac 1106 log tapes and count the number of times each programmer used each processor. Management could tell how many "shots" it took each programmer to get his job done. Back then, when computer time and disk space was expensive, that was actually a job performance issue. We called the program "BIGBR" for "Big Brother." This happened before 1984.

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