Fingers, plis?

How Face Recognition and Digital Fingerprinting Are Creeping Into the U.S. Workplace explains how security technology is increasingly used in the workplace to track worker behavior and coerce workers into accepting increased surveillance as a “normal” part of getting a job.

Once again, technology is substituted for basic human relations. Rather than encouraging employees to feel a part of the work they do, to take pride in their work as a member of a team, to feel appreciated and valued for their contribution to the greater good, workers are treated as objects to be managed and coerced into ever increasing output, and discarded if they don’t perform to machine-like standards.

Since “The Economy” maintains a burgeoning supply of the unemployed, corporate bosses are free to wield a heavy stick over workers, forcing them to perform as miscellaneous cogs in the machine, subject to performance standards set on High. And since supervisors cost more than the supervised, it is cheaper to install surveillance technologies to keep an eye on employees and quantify worker performance up to the arbitrary demands of the bean-counters and their corporate bosses.

Meanwhile, in the artificially declining economy, jobs are increasingly scarce, encouraging workers to accept these “Modern Times” oppressive work conditions. This constant emphasis trains people to think of physical well-being in terms of jobs, rather than meaningful work. Health and happiness is sacrificed to the “need” to find and keep a job, for the money to buy necessities and for the benefits of company paid ( at least partially) health “insurance.”

While we may not hear “Fingers, plis,” as we clock in and out of work in our non-cinematic world, other more insidious methods of tracking and control are being developed or are already at work.


One thought on “Fingers, plis?

  1. Not to discount the concern for surveillance, the article was actually about ways to have employees be honest about the hours they say they are working, by clocking in with face recognition. The goal being to stop the practice of clocking in for a friend who is late, taking more time for breaks than is otherwise agreed upon, reporting to work late, leaving early and also giving friends and family an occasional discount. Frankly, I have been annoyed in past employment to see slacking while I worked the hours I reported. Where is the equity in one worked cheating while another doesn’t?

    That said, I am no fan of biometrics. Still, I think an employee has a responsibility to be truthful, not just to an employer but to herself or himself. I know people who hate their employer but continue to work at a job where they “hate.” Time to take some personal responsibility and find different work. The question is fairly asked: Is digital face recognition the solution to the problem of uninspiring work, for either employer or employee? If the answer is no, then we are right back to square one: why work in a job that provides only money and no satisfaction?


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