[Ed. – That’s not the headline of the original article. But it’s the actual reality. Employers would have no interest in requiring all this “wellness” tracking if they weren’t the chief pressure point for the cost of health “insurance,” and the tremendous increases Obamacare will guarantee that it continues to have. The media stories about this intrusive-tracking problem aim their indignation in the wrong direction. Obamacare — and a health industry ruled by government mandates in general — is THE problem here. You want collectivized health care, loss of privacy is the price.]
Alice describes her office as a “panopticon” — a structure built for total surveillance. Your office may be one, too. Whether through “voluntary” corporate wellness programs, smart badges that record voices and GPS locations, or surveillance apps in their mobile phones and personal computers, Americans are offering up more and more personal data at work. Most of them don’t have much idea of where that data goes, or how it will be used — and there aren’t that many limits on what employers can find out about their employees, or what they can do with the data. The more people who opt in now, the harder it will be to opt out in the future.
And it’s about to get much worse.
In January, new rules went into effect allowing third-party wellness companies to share much more medical data with employers. And a bill currently moving through Congress would make it legal for employers to force workers to share their entire DNA sequence, taking employee scrutiny to a previously-illegal level — while also allowing companies to punish workers who don’t comply.
“The short story is, surveillance is increasing, and the capability to do surveillance is increasing,” said Anna Slomovic, a privacy consultant.