Dependent contractor- new worker category to be recommended by the Taylor Review. How will this impact the Gig Economy?
An american software firm Three Square Market announced that they had plans to use what is termed as ‘near-field communications’ or NFC technology not to track packages but to track their staff. NFC is commonly used in microchips for contactless credit cards. To be fair to Three Square Market, their plan is to implant microchips about the same size as a grain of rice into the hands of willing employees (it’s important to point out that all the employees are volunteers and nobody has been coerced into complying). They say it will help them pay for food in the company canteen, open doors, log into their computers and even use office equipment such as photocopiers with the wave of a hand. This workplace Jedi mind trick may seem completely harmless at first glance, but unsurprisingly it’s caused an absolute furore in the States and around the world. The impact of microchipping humans opens up a huge can of ethical worms and raises some fundamental questions such as the impact on your personal privacy, the consequences of refusing to be microchipped by your employers, and what happens once you leave a position with the microchip still in you. Employers already have the right to keep an eye on their staff during working hours and using other data gathering methods such as CCTV, vechicle trackers etc. However, this data is subject to strict legislation and there are EU and UK guidelines and laws to state exactly how their data is collected and stored. Is it legal to microchip your staff? Is it moral ? That’s a whole other question.