Third of workers happy for employers to look at their Facebook

18 August 2014

Bitterwallet - Facebook logo Almost one in three employees is happy for their employer to have access to their personal data.

31% of employees - chiefly those born in the 80s/90s, or Generation Y as they are referred to - are quite happy for their employer to look at their internet presences and social media dallying.

Mainly because the idea of having some privacy online seems insane to a generation that have been brought up on the internet.

The study questioned 2,000 UK workers, also found that 59% of people were willing to be available at all times in return for job security.

This is just one of the findings in PriceWaterhouseCooper's new Future of Work report.

The report looks into how people work, and their attitudes towards it, predicts that companies could be able to analyse a person's social media profile to understand what makes them tick in the workplace, and also try and understand why some stuff leave.

Perhaps analysing a post that says "I hate my job, my boss, all the staff and the entire UK operation" might indicate that a staff member is in some way unhappy.

Anthony Bruce, who is HR workforce analytics leader at PwC, said: "Just as advertisers and retailers are using data from customers’ online and social media activity to tailor their shopping experience, organisations could soon start using workers’ personal data, with their permission, to measure and anticipate performance and retention issues."

"This sort of data profiling could also extend to real-time monitoring of employees’ health, with proactive health guidance to help reduce sick leave."

Hmm - 'real-time monitoring of employee's health' - not sounding creepy there AT ALL Bruce. Of course, the danger here is that they'll base your mood and health entirely through algorithms and, if your Facebook is filled with pictures of Grumpy Cat, you might find your boss paying to get you spayed on your lunch.


  • Steve (.
    PwC finds that a high number of people are happy for employers to look at their profiles, and this is said to be "because the idea of having some privacy online seems insane to a generation that have been brought up on the internet". That seems just a little rash. Was such an explanation explicitly found in the survey responses? Or is it the opinion of the writer? If we're going to go to the trouble of empirically studying privacy attitudes then lets follow through and apply some rigor in the analysis shall we? An alternative explanation is that young people are more savvy about privacy than some give them credit for. If they know the Facebook profile is going to be viewed by many, then they self-censor as they go. Maybe Facebook is used more like LinkedIn, as an advert. The fact that lots of Facebook users are happy for others to view their profiles rather suggests to me that users know what they're doing, and may be keeping the more sensitive stuff separate.
  • Slacker
    I got rid of Facebook four years ago, and would definitely recommend thisd course of action to anyone still on there.

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