Microsoft says it will make changes in its new Productivity Score feature, including removing the ability for companies to see data about individual users, to address concerns from privacy experts that the tech giant had effectively rolled out a new tool for snooping on workers.
“Going forward, the communications, meetings, content collaboration, teamwork, and mobility measures in Productivity Score will only aggregate data at the organization level—providing a clear measure of organization-level adoption of key features,” wrote Jared Spataro, Microsoft 365 corporate vice president, in a post this morning. “No one in the organization will be able to use Productivity Score to access data about how an individual user is using apps and services in Microsoft 365.”
The company rolled out its new “Productivity Score” feature as part of Microsoft 365 in late October. It gives companies data to understand how workers are using and adopting different forms of technology. It made headlines over the past week as reports surfaced that the tool lets managers see individual user data by default.
As originally rolled out, Productivity Score turned Microsoft 365 into a “full-fledged workplace surveillance tool,” wrote Wolfie Christl of the independent Cracked Labs digital research institute in Vienna, Austria. “Employers/managers can analyze employee activities at the individual level (!), for example, the number of days an employee has been sending emails, using the chat, using ‘mentions’