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tion of 24,000 Fitbits to their workforce. The result was a
decrease in growth rate in BP's healthcare expenses.
The piece also goes into the ethically fuzzy implications of
such measures, pointing to an ill-advised health risk questionnaire that Pennsylvania State University tried to get the
faculty to complete.
"Questions included whether they had recently divorced, or
recently had problems with a co-worker, while women were
asked whether or not they planned to become pregnant,"
the article writes. "Anyone refusing to complete the form
would be fined $100 a month. After a furious protest, the
school scrapped the plan."
Given the new suite of monitoring activity that works on such
an intimate level, it's important to figure out where personal
privacy ends up when the dust settles. Anandarajan says
organizations can deal with these concerns in a number of
ways. It all has to do with a particular company's maturity in
dealing with technology, which varies wildly.
"Number one is they don't tell the employees that they're
monitoring," he explains, "because the laws are not mature
enough to protect the employees."
Another more straightforward means of rectifying data collection with personal privacy is telling people what they're
signing up for right from the start. Anandarajan notes businesses have started including this type of disclosure in
orientation packages. He says that within the materials, a
company can warn that "'anything using software, hardware
belonging to the organization, we [the organization] are allowed to capture the data and monitor the data.'"
A reassuring takeaway, then, is that information collection appears to be limited to company materials and time:
business-provided smart phones, computers and activity at
the office may be fair game, but personal devices and time
away from the office are not. Certain companies, however,
have tried to overstep these restrictions.
Cases like the $13 million dollar settlement in the classaction lawsuit against Google attest to this. According to a
CNN article, "legal action began when several people whose

data was collected sued Google after it admitted the cars
photographing neighborhoods [sic] for Street View had also
gathered emails, passwords and other private information
from wifi [sic] networks in more than 30 countries."
Stories like the Google one may make some nervous and
bring to mind the surveillance systems of a sci-fi dystopia.
One can take comfort in knowing boundaries exist to slap
organizations on the wrist and warn off other companies
from unsettling activities. Privacy protection can't rest on
the law alone; another defence comes from what's taught
in the classroom.
O'Connor believes instructors should provide as much
information as possible about digital privacy. This instruction should include both what an individual's rights
are, and where those rights end. It's equally important to
teach the employer's perspective. That way there won't
be any nasty surprises in store when it comes to what's
being collected.
Speaking of adjustments in the academic environment, another huge shift occurring is in how materials are relayed to
the students. Joel Gingrich, Dean of Trades and Technology
at Red Deer College, has been in the field of academia since
1996. In this time, he's watched classrooms and teaching
styles transform completely.
In the past, the position of instructor would have revolved
more around knowledge-keeping and transmission. In the
modern classroom, almost every student carries a device
that gives them instant access to this previously inaccessible knowledge.
"We've gravitated from not having access, and the instructor was the keeper of all the knowledge," Gingrich explains,
"to now, where instructors have methods and approaches
that harness that technology with the students to have that
integrated right into the classroom learning activities or in
the shops."
Despite admitting that more access to information can cause
distraction in the classroom, Gingrich believes the new style
of teaching the Internet has brought about has only led to a
more engaging, collaborative teacher-student dynamic.



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