Wearable Tracking Device at Workplace is not a Threat

In earlier forms of capitalism, companies treat workers as some machines that wanted them to maximize their work. While nowadays, workers experience intense competition for jobs and worry about the replacement by the robots or replaceable machines. With the growing technologies uses, companies are now using tracking devices on the employees, to not only control worker’s bodies, but also their mental health. Moore and Robinson (2016) paper “The quantified self: What counts in the neoliberal workplace” argues that the wearable self-tracking device in workplace will risk worker’s body to neoliberal, corporeal capitalism. I agree with the authors’ argument that the self-tracking device will be a risk to worker’s body and mind, but I believe that human will never be replaced by machine. Thus, I argue that workers shouldn’t be threatened by wearable tracking device.

Just as mentioned in Moore and Robinson’s paper, the effects on workers’ psychological and physical health are significant. From the examples of Foxconn, the workers in the company feel stressed and have psychological breakdowns due to the intensive production methods, where the wearable and quantified technologies are also big part of their regime. I believe that the technologies will be used as developing the new way of production, and that the workers won’t be stressed as before once the data have been gathered. The competition between humans and machines is not valid in my opinion, machines are created by human, thus I would say that humans are cooperating with machines.

To sum up, I think self-tracking technology in workplace shouldn’t be a threat, as mentioned in @bardaravine post “The real beneficiaries of self-tracking”, self-tracking technology is benefiting the companies. And that may not be beneficial for the workers, the technology itself did not harm them, but the intensive production methods did. Thus, I conclude that workers shouldn’t be threatened by self-tracking devices in workplace.

image: https://blog.hubstaff.com/gps-tracker-app-options/?ab=nav_v2

1 Comment

  1. Thanks for your post, you made lots of interesting points! You mentioned that “human will never be replaced by machines.” In local grocery stores, however, many cashier positions have been replaced by self-check out machines. Probably not in our lifetime, but some have claimed that eventually technology will surpass human efficiency and replace all jobs. Thus, creating concepts of “universal income” and for human life to be lived in terms of “passion and play” in hobbies, instead of just “work and money” for jobs like today. Any thoughts on this?


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