Monday, November 21, 2011

Microsoft patent aims to curb your enthusiasm in the office

By   posted Nov 21st 2011 5:48AM

You might think working for tech royalty out west is all beanbags and 20 percent time. And it might well be. But if your paychecks say Microsoft, you might want to be careful how you spend that extra down-time. A patent with the snappy title Organizational Behavior Monitoring Analysis and Influencedescribes a system devised by the company to monitor employee interactions. Everything from cutting people off in conversation, to the verbal phrases and mannerisms used over "multi-modal communications" (e-mail, phone and so on) is covered. The aim of the Orwellian system is "defining desired and undesired behaviors for enhancing organizational trust levels" and it's not the first timeMicrosoft has made such sinister sounding patent applications. OK, so there is nothing saying exactly what this might be for, or if this would ever be used to monitor its own employees. That said, if your parking space isn't there on Monday, you might want to backtrack through the previous week's water-cooler diatribes.