What’s the best way to trial a service designed to monitor what people are saying and thinking outside of a particular environment? Why, disguise it as a means to protect children, of course!
The firm referenced in the article is providing a valuable service by snooping on what America’s children are writing and saying in social media circles outside of their educational environment. They argue that they are more accurate because the information is eventually interpreted by a human being vs. a computer. Supposedly this allows them to eliminate false positives due to better understanding of contextual scenarios. Of course, it also allows them to monitor, evaluate and effectively regulate speech outside of school, which apparently has been assumed to be a right they, and by extension, the schools that employ them, already possess.
The company is already showcasing some of their alleged success stories. Once their concept has been proved in its existing setting, it is not a difficult leap to bring it to corporate america. After all, who else has such a vested interest in monitoring the loyalty of its’ employees and their treatment of their corporate brand. This is not new in the working world, as corporations are becoming ever more aggressive in the monitoring of the employee’s actions online, especially outside of the work environment. This is a first, as far as I know, in which this particular brand of broad monitoring has been offered as a service in and of itself. This will be an advantage for companies looking to keep their IT and HR departments focused on other projects and so should have little barrier. I can see it being a defacto option for staffing agencies within 5 years.
I have other thoughts brewing about this, but they need time to steep.