• Rikudou_Sage
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    1459 months ago

    What dystopia do you guys live in? I’ve worked for some small companies and some corporates and neither did this shit, that really wouldn’t fly here.

      • Rikudou_Sage
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        469 months ago

        That might be it. The more I learn the happier I am I live in EU.

        • IndiBrony
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          189 months ago

          As a Brit who appreciated what the EU did for us: this makes me sad 😢

          • Rikudou_Sage
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            79 months ago

            Well, here’s to hoping that you’ll join us one day again :)

            • 10EXP
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              19 months ago

              This is from someone who doesn’t keep up at all: Does the UK plan on it? Are there at least people proposing rejoining?

              • Rikudou_Sage
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                9 months ago

                Nothing serious, but the general consensus online is that it would be the smart thing to do. Note the keyword online. Given that I frequented Reddit and now Lemmy, there’s obviously a bias.

                UK people were kinda drunk on their former glory and didn’t quite notice that basically everyone worth considering (US, EU, China) has the upper hand when dealing with them alone. Realistically speaking, they’ll have to join EU (or its successor) eventually if they want to stay relevant. We might be talking 10 years, 20 years, 50 or even 100. If I personally had to guess, it’s gonna be 20 to 40 years.

                Edit: Forgot to mention that UK had a lot of exceptions because they joined quite early where they had a lot more political strength over the union. When they join, they’ll have to do it by the same rules as everyone else without exceptions which many of them are salty about (meaning those who are generally pro-rejoin but not under the same rules as other countries).

      • @[email protected]
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        399 months ago

        It’s legal to spy on your employees in USA?

        I’m beginning to think all their tinfoil conspiracy theories aren’t completely baseless…

    • macrocephalic
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      389 months ago

      You would think so, but companies generally believe that they own the right to your full potential output - not just the tasks that they set you.

      • iByteABit [he/him]
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        209 months ago

        What kind of work do you do that you can’t measure work done by the actual amount of work done?

          • @[email protected]
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            29 months ago

            Presumably that averages out over time, and any given person’s output over time can be compared with their peers. But that would mean management had to take an active hand rather than have some nanny-bot come tattling based on arbitrary metrics that may or may not have any bearing on the actual work being done. Much easier to treat their employees like children.

  • Melody Fwygon
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    9 months ago

    If you care about privacy; you tell your employer clearly that you do not tolerate “Boss-ware” or other spyware on your personal devices.

    If they give a shit; they will then be forced to issue one that the company owns and manages. If they don’t give a shit; you walk away. Lots of companies will hire you without that crap. Don’t believe people who gaslight you by saying “But every company uses it!” or anything sounding remotely like it.

    On a company-issued machine; you tell your employer clearly that you do not tolerate “Boss-ware” that will be used to track or manage your time. Walk away; if they refuse to keep your machine clean of it or attempt to raise any concern that you’re not at your PC every damned moment of your core hours. You have a right to live your life. As long as your immediate bosses and supervisors are happy with the quality and quantity of the work you submit, you’ve done your job. If they are unhappy with the quality or quantity of your work then, they can respectfully schedule a meeting with you to discuss it. The way an actual adult should be treated, and, would be treated in an actual office that observes all standard rules of professionalism. With respect.

    TL;DR: Do not accept the implementation of Boss-ware as if the decision was made with any professionalism or respect for you. If they implement it; you leave as fast as possible. Take any friends that you can with you too, if you can.

    • @[email protected]
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      199 months ago

      My employer bought my laptop and had it shipped directly from Apple to my doorstep. No nefarious software installed. I must be missing out on some good old fashioned fun.

      • @[email protected]
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        149 months ago

        Fyi: At least with windows, you can get devices which are pre configured straight from the manufacturer. It’s called Autopilot (and it’s awesome).

        It’s fairly obvious it’s configured since you have to login to a corporate MS account so you don’t have to worry about it, but it’s just neat.

        • @[email protected]
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          9 months ago

          Receiving a Windows Autopilot device direct from the manufacturer or vendor in no way prevents your employer from installing whatever software they want on the device, of course. I can’t speak for the Apple device but I would imagine there are ways to remotely manage the device even there - requiring the employee to sign in to Jamf, perhaps.

            • @[email protected]
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              29 months ago

              My apologies. I felt a little like you were agreeing with the previous commenter (“no nefarious software”) when you were talking about Autopilot, and I thought it worth pointing out that your employer certainly can install “nefarious” things even if they didn’t directly provision the device for you.

              Of course I know that a lot of work still goes into setting up Intune so that your Autopilot devices are fit for use!

          • Freeman
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            59 months ago

            You can buy a MacBook and have it preregistered with your apple business account. From there the first run will auto add it to jamf and apply policies.

    • Melody Fwygon
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      109 months ago

      As an aside; there are USB devices which can act like keyboards and mice; some of which are very clever and intricate. You can use them to your advantage while using work-issued equipment; but keep in mind you’ll need to program it on your personal PC.

      You can definitely get creative with some of them and have them simulate the typing and clicking of a lot of different things at random intervals.

      • @[email protected]
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        69 months ago

        Some devices on Amazon are completely separate from the computer and can be powered from the wall.

        But in the end, you should really look into switching jobs, if you worry about this.

      • 520
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        39 months ago

        Also worth noting: if at all possible you’ll want to program a different USB ID onto the device.

      • @[email protected]
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        19 months ago

        They typically suck. A lot of them just click 5 times a second, constantly. Often they are recognized as odd hardware.

  • @[email protected]
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    589 months ago

    I’m probably about to get down voted. But as an IT guy, I install tracking software on a very small subset of systems of employees that are pretty much about to be fired for being useless. The reason we do that is basically to catch employees being dishonest. It’s quite possible that the nature of the work makes their productivity hard to gauge. Once we install the software we have some data we can use to push back against outright lies. If we see them spending 75% of their day planning their next vacation instead of getting their work done, they are gone. We don’t install the software unless you are already failing to do your job.

    • Cloudless ☼
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      9 months ago

      Objection! There is some contradiction in your statement. How do you tell they are already failing to do their job, if you say that their productivity is hard to gauge? If they deliver the expected results, why does it matter that they spend time planning their vacation?

      If the employee is already found to be useless, the company can fire them without data from the tracking.

      • @[email protected]
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        139 months ago

        We don’t know they are useless, that is just the suspicion. The nature of the work is that sometimes output can be impacted by forces outside of their control. If we wait long enough, the pattern will be obvious, but why pay someone to not do work when we can just install software on their computer that will almost immediately let us know that they aren’t even putting in full days?

        I honestly don’t get the opposition to this kind of thing. You’re on your work computer, not your own device. Use the work computer for work and use your personal devices for personal stuff. If your contract says you work 40 hours per week, work 40 hours per week.

        • Cloudless ☼
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          169 months ago

          It is a failure of the manager if the subordinates’ work is only measured by hours worked but not with the KPIs. High-quality work by smart employees are much more valuable than employees who work slowly in front of the computer and making lots of mistakes costing the company more money at the end.

          • @[email protected]
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            69 months ago

            Some people (I’m super guilty of this) are terrible at paperwork. They get in there and fix a problem. Then they fix another problem. Then another. They don’t prioritize documenting the things they fixed, because they see the next broken thing as more important than some paperwork.

            Then we get to the end of the week. That employee hasn’t finished their assigned work because they spent half the week fixing problems. Only it’s four days later and they don’t remember all the things they fixed earlier in the week.

            Is this an unproductive employee? They were set a task and they didn’t complete it. They have little to show for the time they worked this week.

            I hate tracking software and would never want it on my computer. But, I can see it being employed to demonstrate productive employees flying under the radar just as easily as it shows employees slacking off.

            Some of us just don’t draw big signs and say ‘look at me!’ They just get in there and get stuff done.

            • @[email protected]
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              29 months ago

              I used to do that at work. Helping customers get their needs handled rather than dicking around on the computer telling it what I did all day. I got called into the office and removeded out.

              Then I started slacking off and “cooking the books”. Got brought back into the office and complimented on how much more productive I had been 🤷

          • @[email protected]
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            49 months ago

            There are no KPIs that can reveal the reason for the lack of output in many cases. The issue is when the KPIs are bad AND there is evidence that the employee is not putting in the effort to correct them.

    • @[email protected]
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      79 months ago

      I’ve done this too. Someone who was not outputting the same amount of work as their colleagues, or when they did it was simple stuff with no real innovative features. The bare minimum.

      Pulled logs off their machine, and they spent 4 hours on Google maps (they’re also a taxi driver after hours) and messing about on PayPal for another few hours (they also did some consultancy).

      There was around 37 minutes of work done that day.

      They were no longer burdened with this job which seemed to interfere with their other evening/weekend jobs.

  • @[email protected]
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    469 months ago

    What kind of ghoulish engineer works on Time Doctor’s software and is able to sleep at night?

    • @[email protected]
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      109 months ago

      I mean… you should be working right? That is what you are getting paid by the company to do. If you are able to get your job done in less than the time/activity needed by the software that’s another issue.

      If you are working from home you are still supposed to be working that is your agreement with your employer. Sure do the bare minimum if you want, but you still need to get your job done.

      It’s the people that are taking advantage of the work from home that risk it for the rest of us actually working from home.

      • @[email protected]
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        9 months ago

        The company should be able to determine that your productivity isn’t good enough by the work you produce. Not micromanaging the keystrokes per minute.

        If your work is really so unimportant that slacking off for 4+ hours a day isn’t noticed, they should be making you redundant. Not forcing spyware on every innocent employee

        • @[email protected]
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          189 months ago

          Yeah I don’t get why people are acting like your output can’t be tracked without spying on you. I logged exactly 8h to my company’s time tracking platform last month (cause I keep forgetting we have a new platform for that) and I got no shit for it. Because my output is clearly visible in terms of all the PRs merged.

        • @[email protected]
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          89 months ago

          Or moving to a four day week. I feel most jobs could be condensed into a 4 day work week with no loss of productivity. But no they want you in 5 days “because that’s how it’s always been done” so then you end up having to kill time.

      • JackbyDev
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        129 months ago

        If my employer is happy with my work output then who cares? This should be a last resort for folks underperforming.

        • @[email protected]
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          29 months ago

          Agreed. If your employer is happy with your work they probably wouldn’t be using this software.

          The problem is you can’t/shouldn’t install the software on a single person’s computer as that is targeting them and against several labor laws.

          Moral of my story, don’t be the reason someone needs to install this type of monitoring/software.

          • JackbyDev
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            29 months ago

            Maybe install on everyone’s computer but only activate it once they’re on the chopping block?

            • @[email protected]
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              19 months ago

              Or install it on everyone’s computer and then don’t be overly pedantic about the occasional slacking off.

  • AutoTL;DRB
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    309 months ago

    This is the best summary I could come up with:


    In Australia, a woman said she was fired from her consultant role after her employer’s monitoring software found “very low keystroke activity” on her laptop between October and December.

    Time Doctor has seen business pick up over the past few years as remote work has taken off, Borja said, and the return-to-office movement hasn’t eliminated the demand for employee-tracking software.

    A March Resume Builder survey of 1,000 US business leaders with a primarily remote or hybrid workforce found that 96% of them use some form of employee-monitoring software, sometimes called bossware, to monitor worker productivity.

    At Tesla’s New York plant, workers told Bloomberg that the company tracks how active they are on their computers — and that they’ve avoided taking bathroom breaks as a result.

    Refusing to turn on your webcam during a meeting, for instance, could give your employer the right to fire you if you live in the US, legal experts previously told Insider.

    “Everybody in the industry talks about it — you’ve got the all-seeing eye of Big Brother watching everything the employees are doing, and it’s a little creepy,” a Time Doctor staffer told Insider in 2021.


    The original article contains 678 words, the summary contains 191 words. Saved 72%. I’m a bot and I’m open source!

  • regalia
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    239 months ago

    If you’re on their device, assume it’s a giant surveillance device. If you’re forced to do company work on your device, stick it in a VM.

  • @[email protected]
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    179 months ago

    Pretty sure if my work place tries to do this people will just quit… Employers are already facing retention issue.

    • @[email protected]
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      29 months ago

      I quit a job after three days because they wanted me to install that shit on my machine. It was not mentioned in the interview and I specifically asked how they measured hours worked. They just said “we have a timesheet software where you input your times”. It was also an emergency hire for a job someone quit two weeks before deadline. /s Great place to work!! /s

      • @[email protected]
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        39 months ago

        Thats why so many employers say they can’t hire the right person. You did the right thing. I will also quit in that situation. If an employer don’t trust me, what is the point working there?

  • bbbhltz
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    119 months ago

    I never turn my work laptop on at home. I don’t even have any bookmarks saved in the browser. I have a .txt file synced using Syncthing that I treat as a perpetual notepad where I keep my links. I don’t think I’ve even turned my work laptop on at home or charged it at home this year.

    Of course, these are things I can get away with since I’m a professor. But still, I have received emails asking if I need training on how to use my computer because I have barely used it. They really, really wanted me to use Outlook instead of the webapp for some reason. I never did. But, they were so insistent. Recently we lost the ability to change wallpaper, default browsers and quick launch icons.

    Work computers: almost a neat perk.

      • bbbhltz
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        59 months ago

        I already got in big trouble for that about 6 or 7 years ago. I was teaching a class and one of the IT folks happened by and looked in the window. 10 minutes later my phone was ringing and emails were flying in. No dual booting, Linux in a VM if I want and they need to install it.

        I use 3 things on that computer: Notepad++ (I had to ask them to install it because we’re not allowed to d ha ourselves), Firefox, and MuPDF (also needed to ask permission for that one). Now, I can’t complain too much because they gifted the teachers the previous laptops, so I’m assuming they’ll do the same again and it will be mine.

        • Elise
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          19 months ago

          So what exactly is going on over there?

          Can you use your own devices?

          • bbbhltz
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            19 months ago

            Of course you can haha. They just keep most of the devices locked down because employees aren’t so skilled with computers and tend to mess things up.

  • @[email protected]
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    109 months ago

    You know… It would be really useful to have a tool (software or usb stick) that can detect all kinds of commonly used boss-ware and tell you what exactly is being monitored/captured by what exact software. Sounds like a business I’d like working for

    • @[email protected]
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      39 months ago

      Companies that employ this tech probably also block USB peripherals (besides input devices)

      • @[email protected]
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        19 months ago

        The USD stick can be a rubber ducky :) acting as an input device to do its magic

        Anyways, dreams dreams

  • @[email protected]
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    99 months ago

    This is very much so a thing that companies do. My company uses one such service. It’s just a quick install on the computer and you can’t tell that it’s even installed unless you know where to look (under Windows Services). It decides how “productive” you are based on what programs you’re using, how long you’re using them, and what sites you’re visiting in the browser. It also takes regular screenshots all day. Records every site you visit. And more.

    Personally I hate these kind of monitoring things, but since management wanted it rolled out in 2020 I didn’t have a choice but to deploy it.

  • Eames
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    29 months ago

    How can I check if my laptop has such software installed?

    • @[email protected]
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      229 months ago

      If it’s a work laptop, treat it like it has tracking software on it. Don’t use your work computer for personal stuff that you don’t want your employer to see. Period.

      • Eames
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        89 months ago

        Well, thx. But this was not my question.

        • akim
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          49 months ago

          As there are dozens of different ways to track different stuff, this can’t be answered easily. Try to open the task manager and examine the processes is a start.

          But that’s only for tracking software. You could also examine the data you create Server-Side and just assume stuff. Like: you are away in teams and you haven’t touched files in Sharepoint for 60mins, so we assume you don’t work right now.

        • @[email protected]
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          9 months ago

          Disclaimer, I have not studied the software in question and there are many ways to implement it, so this isn’t a way to say a computer is clean, just a way to detect if it’s infected.

          Typically, keylogging programs like these are installed as device driver filters. Open devmgmt.msc, locate your keyboard and right click -> properties -> details tab -> property drop down -> upper filters and lower filters.

          These should be empty normally. If there are entries present then you have some program that is hooking into your keyboard driver and accessing your keystrokes.

          Similarly, there should be a filter on your mouse if it is being listened to.

          If you are especially paranoid, you can jot down the GUID of the keyboard and mouse driver (it looks like a long hex number with dashes surrounded by {}s), then shut down the computer and boot to a rescue disk, open up regedit, mount the registry hive for SYSTEM it’s located in \windows\system32\config\system, (let’s say you mount it to SYSTEM.remote), then navigate to SYSTEM.remote\CurrentControlSet\Control\Class\

          Then you scroll through this key’s values and look for UpperFilters and LowerFilters.

          The reason why you do it this way is to avoid a rootkit situation, where a driver also hooks into requests to the OS for certain information, and uses that to hide its presence.

        • @[email protected]
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          29 months ago

          Yes, but my point is that you’re asking a flawed question. It’s possible for us to give you a bunch of different services or processes to look for, but it’s trivial for these companies to just make a new service or process with a different name that’s harder to find. You’re trying to play a cat and mouse game that you’re not going to win.

          I work in IT. Most of our clients’ computers are managed by an MDM, which means that we can push ANY package or software to the computer at ANY time, without notifying the user. Most of our clients don’t bother with tracking software, but some do. And make no mistake, tracking software is basically legal spyware.

          So, my point is this: it doesn’t matter whether or not you have evidence of tracking software on your computer. Just assume that it’s there, and don’t use your computer for anything you don’t want your employer to see. That is the safest route.

    • Elise
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      39 months ago

      You’d have to disable IME for Intel or the equivalent for AMD and then reinstall the OS.

      However you might simply want to run some rootkit detecting tools, check what programs and drivers you have installed and look up each one, and browser extensions.