Relating to the following article, do you believe monitoring employees in the way described is ethical or unethical? Would you work for a company if you knew a computer system was monitoring your...

Relating to the following article, do you believe monitoring employees in the way described is ethical or unethical? Would you work for a company if you knew a computer system was monitoring your performance and measuring your vital signs?

see http://news.cnet.com/8301-13860_3-9851948-56.html

Asked on by lcowan6

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pohnpei397's profile pic

pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted on

If I could trust that this technology would be used only for the purpose of improving productivity, I would be willing to work at such a company.  I would think that the use of that technology was ethical so long as I knew that it was happening.  In that sense, it would be little different than working in a place where I knew security cameras were watching me.  However, I would worry that the technology might be used to gather data on my health and that might lead the company to do something like firing me if it felt my health was not up to its standards.  That seems unethical.

In general, I would argue that firms have the right to do a great deal of monitoring of employees for the purpose of improving productivity.  A worker is at work for the purpose of creating a product for the employer.  The employer absolutely has the right to do things to ensure that it is getting the work that it is paying for from the employee.  If a monitor could determine when my blood pressure and heart rate were rising, it might make me more productive by letting my boss know I was having trouble.  The boss could then come over and help me to understand my work better.  This would be a valid use of the technology.

So long as the technology is used only in this way, and so long as I am informed that it is in use, I think it would be ethical and I would work for such a firm.

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