Companies turn to wellness applications to monitors employees

According to Ivan Manokha (2019), a lecturer in the Department of International Development at Oxford University, “an increasing number of wellness programs involve the collection and analysis of personal data concerning employee fitness and health”. Wellness technologies such as Fitbit, Nike+ FuelBand, and Jawbone UP  collect, store and transmit various biometric readings related to health, sleep quality, fatigue, location, etc. One of the first corporate firms that adopted this new kind of surveillance technology was BP America, which introduced Fitbit bracelets in 2013 (ibid). Now, many other companies and corporations have followed suit. The implications of this can hardly be exaggerated; these devices convert an employee’s life into a quantifiable and inescapably gamified reality. Privacy and labor rights are, therefore, greatly jeopardized.