The data dilemma
Employee behaviour could be tracked using brain-monitoring, the UK data watchdog has warned. New technology will enable companies to assess workers’ attention and focus as well as how they react to stress. But the potential ability to monitor this neurodata has raised questions about how it should be used, particularly by employers.
The Information Commissioner’s Office (IOC) has now published a report examining the use of information gathered from monitoring the brain and nervous system. It identifies a number of sectors where neurotechnology is expected to have a major impact, including health, wellbeing, entertainment, marketing and the military.
Describing the potential effect the technology could have on workplace safety, the report says: “The employment sector is likely to make increasing use of non-invasive neurotechnology to measure, record and process a variety of personal information.
“While employee monitoring is already a contentious area of processing, EEG systems may be integrated as part of a health and safety or risk management scheme. This could see helmets or safety equipment that measure the attention and focus of an employee rolled out in high-risk environments. For example, around heavy machinery or a large vehicle, especially combined with long working hours.”