Microsoft revises its employees

Microsoft abolishes the "productivity evaluation" of employees after monitoring criticism

This year, as a result of the pandemic, more people will be working from home than probably never before. So that employers can still ensure that their employees are hardworking, Microsoft apparently made their Office Suite 365 available to corporate users to monitor their employees - and therefore received massive criticism from data protectionists.

Because based on a percentage, managers should be able to use the built-in function to assess how "productive" individual people are according to Microsoft calculations. The STANDARD reported. Now the technology company rowed back and removed the productivity measurement, at least on an individual level.

No more surveillance

"What I like most about Microsoft is that we admit and correct mistakes," said Jeffrey Snover of Microsoft on Twitter. In a press release, the group also makes it clear that user names will be removed from the product in the future. From now on, productivity should only be measured at company level so that, despite everything, adjustments can be made in individual areas if these are desired. However, under no circumstances should data be traced back to individuals.

In addition, the user interface of the tool is to be revised to clarify the purpose of the application. "The productivity evaluation produces data for the company and was never intended to evaluate individual users," says a Microsoft statement in this regard. In the future, it should be easier for IT staff to understand what is being measured and what is not.

Critical in terms of labor law

If data protection officials have their way, the announced adjustments are likely to be long overdue. Because the previously standard activation of the individual productivity measurement is not permitted in countries such as Austria and Germany. (mick, 02.12.2020)