Warning: Firms Eye Brain Data to Monitor Workers

Companies may use brain-monitoring technology to observe and hire workers in the future, according to the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO). However, the ICO highlights the risk of discrimination if “neurotech” is not developed and utilized responsibly.

Brain-monitoring technology has the potential to be used by companies in the future to monitor or hire workers, according to the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO). However, the ICO warns that proper development and usage of “neurotech” is crucial to avoid discrimination.

In its first report on “neurodata,” the ICO explores hypothetical future applications of neurotechnology, including workplace monitoring. The growing interest in neurotech is evident through investments and patent development, particularly with ventures like Elon Musk’s Neuralink. While neurotech is already regulated in the healthcare sector, commercial interest is expanding. The report also discusses the possibilities brought by artificial intelligence in decoding brain scans, potentially aiding patients with locked-in syndrome. Looking ahead, the ICO suggests that neurotechnology may be routinely deployed in the workplace for safety, productivity, and recruitment purposes.

This could involve measuring attention and focus in high-risk environments or assessing individuals’ reactions to workplace stress. In education, wearable brain monitoring devices could be utilized to gauge students’ concentration and stress levels. The report highlights the limited current use of “neuromarketing” and envisions future applications such as tailored consumer preferences based on non-invasive devices capable of reading responses. However, the ICO expresses concerns about potential discrimination and bias in neurotech, as well as issues surrounding consent and the release of subconscious neurodata.

To address these concerns, the ICO aims to provide new guidance on neurodata by 2025.

Author: Neurologica

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