Street Fight: Covid-19 Will Make the Workplace a Privacy Hotspot

The workplace environment is about to get more stressful. Human Relations departments must figure out how to prevent employees from potentially spreading Covid-19 when they return to work. Many are considering using contact tracing apps and monitoring real-time social distancing in the office, but a global survey released by Cisco last month found that many people are concerned about their privacy, even if employers are taking measures to protect public health.

More than a third of the 2,600 respondents in the survey said they want no relaxation of privacy laws due to the pandemic, 43% don’t want employers conducting medical checks and requesting health information, and nearly two-thirds don’t support disclosing information about infected individuals. While everyone wants to get back to business as usual, employers need to be careful that their efforts to monitor the health of employees and prevent the spread of the virus remain respectful of employee privacy and aren’t intrusive.