We recently detailed how when America’s white collar work force returns to their offices, business complexes, and sky scrapers, their experience in the post-COVID ‘reopened’ work space is likely to resemble something more like an airport security check zone, complete with invasive protocols like frequent temperature checks and ‘social distancing’ and health surviellance, as well as Plexiglass eclosed cubicles and HR-style enforcement monitors.
If all that sounds like a hassle, the WSJ has since taken up the question of America’s near-future office spaces, and the end result looks to be worse than expected. “Your every move will be watched,” the report emphasizes:
In Midtown Manhattan, thermal cameras will measure body temperatures as employees file into a 32-story office tower at Rockefeller Center. The building’s owner, RXR Realty, said it is also developing a mobile app for tenants to monitor — and score — how closely their workers are complying with social distancing.
PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP said it is preparing to launch this month a phone app for employers that traces contacts by analyzing workers’ interactions in the office. More than 50 clients have expressed interest, including some of the nation’s biggest banks, manufacturers and energy companies.
It sounds like something very close to China’s ‘big brother’ social credit scoring system which made world headlines last year, as it relies on cutting edge facial recognition software designed to permanently store a citizen profile while actively tracking individuals’ public movements.
There’s already been reported instances of Chinese citizens being prevented from taking trains due to the system forecasting they might not be able to pay, or some other ‘pre-crime’ risks.
And now this is getting closer to home, possibly coming to an office near you:
Advertising giant Interpublic Group of Cos . is exploring dividing its 22,000 U.S. employees into three separate groups, according to perceived health risks, which could include age. Workers could be asked to disclose medical and other personal information about themselves and, in some cases, family members…
“It is a reasonable approach, if you can get through the operational and some of the privacy and regulatory issues,” Dr. Ossmann said.
It’s certainly alarming anytime it has to be admitted that “privacy issues” are merely a pesky little something to “get through”.