Joost Plattel

Data-strategist, Founder & Speaker.

Making Waves

So far today has been enjoyable, until around noon when someone texted me with a url pointing to nu.nl, showing an article about the Data Protection Authority telling me it is forbidden for employers to use wearables to track their employees (also on tweakers.net). The research the article points to is actually two companies that run my dashboards. Before I get into details, let me state the following:

  • The privacy of an employee is of utmost importance! Employee first, employer last (or not at all!)
  • The Data Protection Authority is one of the most important organisations in regard to the coming technological expansion, we need them more then ever.
  • The grey area and boundaries existing the current space of law require meticulous investigation.

Now, if you've read the article carefully, you will notice it is still acceptable for a third-party to collect data with a wearable, but showing the data (in any way) to the employer is a no-go. This is something I totally agree with, but it conflicts partially with the requirements of a good employer to take care of their employees. A deeper exploration is required.

The connection between the employee and employer is not equal, which means the employer can force an employee. In my book, this is also a no-go. I've build my dashboards in such a way so this can not be done in any way.

I started developing the dashboards with a discussion in mind, and the first line in the grey area has been drawn. This doesn't mean the discussion is over, as technology and the workplace develop the grey area may solidify if we supply it with enough discussion and decisions. The article is a important step towards a better balance between privacy, ethics, technology and the workplace. Let's keep on discovering!