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The Electronic Supervisor: New Technologies, New Tensions

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Citation Edit

Office of Technology Assessment, The Electronic Supervisor: New Technologies, New Tensions (Sept. 1987 (full-text).

Overview Edit

This Report deals with the use of computer-based technologies to measure how fast or how accurately employees work. New computer-based office systems are giving employers new ways to supervise job performance and control employees’ use of telephones, but such systems are also controversial because they generate such detailed information about the employees they monitor. This assessment explores a broad range of questions related to the use of new technology in the workplace and its effects on privacy, civil liberties, and quality of working life.

This study was requested by the House Committee on Government Operations and the Subcommittee on Civil and Constitutional Rights of the House Committee on the Judiciary. A second report resulting from the same request, Defending Secrets, Sharing Data: New Locks and Keys for Electronic Information, discusses how important developments in computer security are converging with technologies and policies for communications security. It also explores the past and future role of government policies in the evolution of information security technology — particularly cryptography — for safeguarding communication in government and the private sector.

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