One of the most criticized features from Microsoft for Microsoft 365 was the feature to track employee usage of applications like Outlook, Skype, and Teams, which was widely condemned by privacy experts. Due to this, the company has now announced a new privacy-friendly version of the same feature to replace the older version. The Productivity Score feature, as it was called, was launched as a part of the Microsoft 365 productivity suite to provide companies data about the employees utilizing the technology.
The idea behind the feature was to score the employees based on the metric collected from Microsoft 365. An employee who has been using more of Team, Outlook and Skype might get a higher or better score than others. However, the major flaw as per the experts behind this was the privacy concerns. As per the official statement from Microsoft, “At Microsoft, we believe that data-driven insights are crucial to empowering people and organizations to achieve more,” Jared Spataro, corporate vice president for Microsoft 365. We also believe that privacy is a human right, and we’re deeply committed to the privacy of every person who uses our products.”
The feature was criticized as an overreach of data collection by enterprises and was also called the most invasive work-place surveillance scheme yet to hit the mainstream. Due to this two major changes were added, where the first feature will remove user names and their associated actions from the product, meaning that organizations will no longer be able to track individual activities over a 28-day period. The second change will modify the user interface to make it clearer that Productivity Score is a measure of organizational adoption of technology and not individual user behavior.