Workplace: PLT – PLT company (Planung für Logistik & Transport GmbH)

The company PLT – Planung für Logistik & Transport GmbH (Planning for Logistics and Transport) receives the BigBrotherAward in the Workplace category for its PLT Staff Tracker. This device provides employers with real-time information on the whereabouts of their newspaper deliverers or postal carriers and how fast they are moving. Such comprehensive monitoring is degrading and pointless.

Workplace: IBM Germany

IBM Germany receives the BigBrotherAward 2016 in the “Workplace” Category for the software “Social Dashboard”, which allows companies to control and evaluate their employees' social behaviour. “Social Dashboard” uses metadata from the in-house social network system “Connections” and creates a score and a “social ranking” for likes and shares. It is an attempt at leaving the evaluation of social interactions to a machine. It will create wrong incentives and more pressure at work.

Workplace: Amazon Logistik

The Amazon subsidiaries in Bad Hersfeld and Koblenz receive the BigBrotherAward 2015 in the “Workplace” category for conditions in their employment contracts that violate employees’ personal rights. The companies demand that employees consent to processing of their personal data, including health data, in the US. Amazon also reserves the right to determine their employees’ state of health at practically any time, and to do so using doctors nominated by the company.

Arbeitswelt: Amazon Logistik

Die beiden Amazon-Töchter in Bad Hersfeld und Koblenz erhalten den BigBrotherAward 2015 in der Kategorie Arbeitswelt für Klauseln in ihren Arbeitsverträgen, die die Persönlichkeits-rechte der Arbeitnehmer.innen verletzen. So verlangen die Firmen von ihren Beschäftigten die Zustimmung zur Verarbeitung ihrer persönlichen Daten (u.a. Gesundheitsdaten) in den USA. Außerdem behält sich Amazon das Recht vor, den Gesundheitszustand seiner Beschäftigten praktisch jederzeit feststellen zu lassen, und zwar von Ärzt.innen, die das Unternehmen benennt.

Workplace: RWE

The BigBrotherAward 2014 in the Workplace category goes to RWE Vertrieb AG (RWE is Germany’s second-largest energy utility company, and RWE Vertrieb is its sales subsidiary). The company makes subcontractors use a surveillance software by “Verint Systems”. This software can produce a continuous record of conversations and desktop activities without the workers’ knowledge. This is a representative award for all companies that make use of recording technologies to evaluate call-center workers. And, by the way: Verint Systems also produces monitoring technology for secret services such as the NSA.

Arbeitswelt: RWE

Der BigBrotherAward in der Kategorie Arbeitswelt geht an die RWE Vertrieb AG. Diese lässt in Call-Centern bei Subunternehmern eine Überwachungssoftware von Verint Systems einsetzen. Diese Software kann ohne das Wissen der Mitarbeiter im Einzelfall sowohl das Telefonat als auch Bildschirmaktionen aufzeichnen. Der Preis wird stellvertretend für alle Unternehmen vergeben, die sich technischer Aufzeichnungsmethoden zur Bewertung der Mitarbeiterinnen und Mitarbeiter in Call-Centern bedienen. Nur nebenbei: Verint Systems produziert auch Abhörtechnik für Geheimdienste, beispielsweise für die NSA.

Workplace: Apple

The BigBrotherAward 2013 in the “Workplace” category goes to Apple Retail GmbH in Munich, for their comprehensive video surveillance of employees. The company operates the Apple Stores in Germany. Inside sources say that not only sales rooms and stockrooms in these stores have been monitored across the whole area and at all times, but social rooms as well. This form of total control of employees would be forbidden in Germany. The company is certainly taking an intransigent stance: It took arduous negociations with data protection commissioners until information signs about video surveillance were moved from “dog’s eye” to waist level.

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