Researchers alex rosenblat, tamara kneese, and danah boyd explain the history of workplace surveillance, and journalist colin lecher describes surveillance and tracking in amazon warehouses.

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READING GUIDE:
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Discussions of privacy and the digital environment are often closely connected to concerns about surveillance. Journalist Thomas McMullan explans the panopticon, a popular metaphor for understanding surveillance. As you read, think and how the concept of the panopticon helps us understand surveillance. Researchers Alex Rosenblat, Tamara Kneese, and danah boyd explain the history of workplace surveillance, and journalist Colin Lecher describes surveillance and tracking in Amazon warehouses. As you read, consider whether Amazon would use similar techniques to track its software engineers. Think about how workplace surveillance operates differently in blue-collar and white-collar settings.
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MEMO-LITE PROMPT:
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Select one of the following prompts, making reference to the week’s readings.
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Prompt 1: While there are few legal privacy protections in the U.S. for employees, workplaces that use surveillance technologies may choose to draft their own guidelines to balance company needs and employee privacy preferences. If your employer asked you to draft such a policy, what might it entail? What kinds of surveillance practices would you find appropriate or not? What variables would you take into account in establishing limits for surveillance in the company?
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Prompt 2: If your employer used surveillance practices like the ones discussed in the readings, how would you respond? What actions might you take, and what would drive you to those kinds of actions? If you and your fellow employees were interested in pushing back, what strategies would you employ? What would you be willing to risk for your resistance (e.g,. poor performance evaluation, loss of a bonus, raise, or promotion, getting fired). At what point, if any, would you be driven to leave the job?

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