Microsoft promises less monitoring of individuals in Microsoft 365



Microsoft keeps track of exactly how, when and for how long individual users use Microsoft 365 services. From this, the data company calculates a “productivity score”, which is also made available to the employers of the users. That changes: the usernames are no longer displayed in the evaluations, but device numbers are retained for three evaluations.

The “productivity value” is divided into eight areas with a maximum of 100 points each. For the areas of communications, meetings, content collaboration, teamwork, and mobility, Microsoft will summarize the information at the enterprise level so that bosses can no longer assess individual employees. In the calculations for app health, network connectivity and endpoint analysis, there are no names, but device IDs. These are retained to assist in the identification and resolution of technical problems. The usually possible inferences about individual users can hardly be avoided.

These changes to user monitoring by Microsoft’s Office software serve data protection, as Microsoft announced Tuesday. “No one in an organization will be able to use the productivity score to access data about the use of apps and services in Microsoft 365 for a single user,” assures Corporate Vice President Jared Spataro.

On Twitter Jeffrey Snover thanked him, Microsoft’s CTO for Modern Workface Transformation, in particular with Austrian data activist Wolfie Christl and other unnamed critics. Christl criticized the problematic and, in his opinion, often misleading evaluations in a series of tweets last week.


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