Hess Associates

Privacy and Your Data

Recently one of our blogs dealt with Metadata Monsters (http://hessjobs.mobi/metadata-monsters/).

Further to this, Edward Snowden, whom we all know is a former NSA systems analyst,
revealed to the Washington Post that the NSA has access to and analyzes phone records,
email addresses, buddy lists, and other data gleaned from social media, to form personal interaction maps, allegedly
to seek out foreign terrorist profiles worldwide.
What Snowden is advocating seems to be the principle that there should be a “balance between the
human right of privacy and the governmental interest in investigation”.

Add to this, note the new RBC app, allowing clients to pay bills and see all their account data online.
This is great but comes with a dollar free price – access to caller and browser history, bookmarks,
cameras, and so on. Even Aeroplan has its eye on your data if you want to or use one of its credit card products.
Supposedly corporations are restricted in their right to demand information if this info is not actually
necessary for them to provide a product or service. But the collection goes on.
Yes, you can say no, and then use the banking services or collect points another way – but we are
all about convenience, and we have after all invented these technologies and deserve to benefit
From them, not suffer from the consequences of using them.

Actually folks, the Canadian government is right – why do we need the long form of the census
when they know all about us anyway? If you can’t remember what you did last Saturday night,
Perhaps just call up Communications Security Agency Canada and ask.

But you know, we all saw this coming – remember Brave New World by Huxley?
Big Brother is Watching You – even Rogers has a product which allows you to watch
what is going on in your house from afar, see your kids come home from school,
and all good things. And Bell has announced that in mid November, it will be collecting
data on whom you call, sites you surf, what you watch on TV.
(Bell Canada To Track Web, TV Surfing Habits For Ad Purposes
(http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2013/10/22/bell-track-customers-ads_n_4138197.html)

Who should be making the big decisions about the lines in the sand? Let me know what you think.

LABORATORY WORKPLACE PSYCHOLOGICAL HEALTH

Research indicates a strong correlation between psychological health, and obviously health
and safety in general, at work and the increased revenue derived from greater productivity,
and decrease in employee absenteeism and turnover.
(see The Dollar Cost of Employee Turnover (http://hessjobs.mobi/the-dollar-cost-of-employee-turnover)).

Recently the Mental Health Association of Canada commissioned
a new standard, “Psychological health and safety in the workplace, Prevention, promotion,
and guidance to staged implementation”, which was then published by the CSA.

For example, amongst lab workers, in addition to the biochemical and actual physical risks,
and over time hours’ stressors, psychological hazards ranked very high, as a stress provoking agent.
Not surprisingly, this impacts home life and personal interactions as well.
Particular areas of difficulty could include frequent introduction of new technologies
requiring frequent retraining, new learning while continuing to do ones’ regular work,
forced requests for workers to do shift work and overtime (often uncompensated) – leading to stress at home,
and in some cases –difficult, unavoidable interactions with demanding, irritated, bullying
clients (the public), demanding, non-understanding bosses, intimidation, forced change in status
such as demotion without cause, denigration by superiors or peers, removing all responsibility
so as to purposely make a person redundant, all lead to unbelievable stress, tension, eroding
of self esteem, and harmful effects on all aspects of life.

Thus, what were the suggestions and guidelines?
Essentially a focus on mandated adoption of a non-abuse policy, related education, available
coping resources for bullied victims, reasonable schedules re retraining for new technologies,
time management re approaches to overtime requirements, adequate break times, limit
to consecutive working days, and building respect within the workplace and encouraging
communication.

Some of these good practice guidelines can be found at
Accreditation Canada – http://accreditation.ca/en/content.aspx?pageid=66.

What are some of your stressors at work?

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