Back in 2017, Barclays pioneered the use of computer wizardry to snoop on its own workers. Black boxes were installed under desks that gathered information about the movements of staff via OccupEye sensors.
When this practice was brought to light, there was much criticism. But it is clear from fresh revelations that Barclays never had the slightest intention of reining in its cyber-snooping.
This time, US-manufactured Sapience software is being used to log how long workers are away from their desks and how much time is spent on different tasks. The company that makes the equipment, Sapience Analytics, brags that management can use the data to set goals, cut spending and “engage low performers”.
Staff members complain that with the introduction of Sapience they are scared to step away from their desks, fetch a glass of water, go to the toilet or have a proper lunch break.
Taxed with this latest invasion of privacy, Barclays came out with the quaint story that the intention was to “tackle issues such as individual overworking”.
Further comment would be superfluous.