‘Big Data or Big Brother’ Panel Discussion, HRM Asia
Big Data or Big Brother: Manu Khetan at HRM Asia Event
21-22nd October 2015 Singapore
With the proliferation of various digital and social platforms, and the rise of a ubiquitous workplace, companies have endless ways to monitor their staff. HRM Asia organized a panel discussion on big data and privacy laws “Big Data or Big Brother”. The panel members from diverse industries and expertise have explored the fundamental questions on big data that challenge the basic legal frameworks of anti-discrimination and information privacy.
The panel discussed about following areas of Big Data:
- Benefits and threats of a big data world in the future workplace
- Reflection on where we are when it comes to big data and where the current trends will lead us in the future workplace?
- Where is the real threat to privacy? Is it from government-spying agencies or aggregation by companies like Google and Facebook?
- Sensors & Wearables – Putting sensors into employee name badges that can detect social dynamics in the workp The sensors report on how employees move around the workplace, with whom they speak, and even the tone of voice they use when communicating. By analyzing data from smart badge technology Bank of America noticed that its top performing employees at call centers were those who took breaks together. They instituted group break policies and performance improved 23 percent. Source
- Corporate Surveillance & Data – With the rise of so many new data sources and so many new ways of cutting that data— using cameras, sensors or crowd sourcing data to measure every aspect of someone’s performance.
- Should companies use this data to monitor staff?
- Is it even ethical to treat staff members like machines and equipment?
- How can businesses use the data to predict and manage the way people perform in their job in an ethical manner?
- Are the data privacy frameworks well suited to deal with the challenges of big data in the current and future workplace?
- Preventing the ‘Snowden’ situation – managing third-party vendors with your data
- Finding the balance between data ethics, privacy and boosting performance in the future workplace.
The discussion was summarized by saying of Gary King, Professor of Harvard University “Big Data is not about the Data”, it’s about how to use it and who to use it or not.