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U.S. Government to Crack Down on 'Bossware' That Spies On Employees' Computers

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A representation of bossware.

The use and abuse of worker surveillance tech in general — not just bossware — has been "growing by the minute," said Mark Gaston Pearce, executive director of the Workers' Rights Institute at Georgetown Law School.

Credit: KickIdler

Ever since the COVID-19 pandemic drove a wave of working from home, companies have been relentless in their efforts to digitally police and spy on remote employees by using what's known as "bossware." That's the pejorative name for software that tracks the websites an employee visits, screenshots their computer screens, and even records their faces and voices.

And now, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), an agency of the federal government, is looking to intervene.

"Close, constant surveillance and management through electronic means threaten employees' basic ability to exercise their rights," said NLRB general counsel Jennifer Abruzzo, in a Monday memo. "I plan to urge the Board to apply the Act to protect employees, to the greatest extent possible, from intrusive or abusive electronic monitoring and automated management practices."

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