Microsoft seeks patent for office 'spy' software - Times Online:
Microsoft is developing Big Brother-style software capable of remotely monitoring a worker’s productivity, physical wellbeing and competence.
The Times has seen a patent application filed by the company for a computer system that links workers to their computers via wireless sensors that measure their metabolism. The system would allow managers to monitor employees’ performance by measuring their heart rate, body temperature, movement, facial expression and blood pressure. Unions said they fear that employees could be dismissed on the basis of a computer’s assessment of their physiological state.
Technology allowing constant monitoring of workers was previously limited to pilots, firefighters and Nasa astronauts. This is believed to be the first time a company has proposed developing such software for mainstream workplaces.