Microsoft 365 has rolled out its latest ‘productivity score’ tool. Within a day of release the new Microsoft feature has grabbed the headlines. However, there are hardly any that we can say are on Microsoft’s side.

The feature allows your boss to almost sneak in to your smartphone and usual tech habits, all in the name of boosting productivity. The new Microsoft 365 tool allows managers to keep a close watch on their employees and gives reports on a range of criteria.

The productivity parameters taken into consideration that the managers can look at also include how often an employee switch on their camera during a Microsoft Teams Meets as well as how often they use their e-mail and word.The feature gives the productivity report for a period of 28 daysand finallyscoresemployees from a total of 800.

Microsoft Productivity Score Tool Raises Privacy Concerns

The aforementioned management friendly tool has landed the Redmond based software giant in the middle of privacy compromising allegations. Several privacy campaigners have even gone ahead to call it a ‘workplace surveillance tool’.

Microsoft 365 Productivity Score

Data Privacy Researcher,WolfieChristl has tweeted, “A new feature to calculate ‘productivity scores’ turns Microsoft 365 into an full-fledged workplace surveillance tool. Employers/managers can analyse employee activities at the individual level (!), for example, the number of days an employee has been sending emails, using the chat, using ‘mentions’ in emails etc.”

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Furthermore, researchers are also questioning the tool’s legality in various European Union nations.  WolfieChristl has also opined that it is an arbitrary metric that can potentially impact how organisations are run and may affect millions of employees among Microsoft 365 customers in the coming days.

Software Giant defends it as an opt-in experience

In its defence, Microsoft hasreportedly said, “Productivity score is an opt-in experience that gives IT administrators insights about technology and infrastructure usage. Insights are intended to help organisations make the most of their technology investments by addressing common pain points like long boot times, inefficient document collaboration, or poor network connectivity.”

It further added that the insights are shown in aggregate over a 28-day period and are provided at the user level so that an IT admin can provide technical support and guidance. Furthermore, Jared Spataro, Corporate Vice President for Microsoft 365 also noted in its statement that the firm is committed to privacy as a fundamental element of productivity score.”

Spataro emphasised, “Let me be clear: productivity score is not a work monitoring tool. Productivity score is about discovering new ways of working, providing your people with great collaboration and technology experiences … For example, to help maintain privacy and trust, the user data provided in productivity score is aggregated over a 28-day period.”

However, these justifications already seemed to have failed to make a good case among the privacy-concerned. Privacy campaigners do seem to be still in opposition of the latest Microsoft 365 tool. What do you think of the latest “Productivity Score” feature by Microsoft? Share with us in the comments below.

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