Microsoft patents new software that can detect when employees are lazy

As if workers weren’t self-conscious enough during a video conference.

United States Patent and Trademark Office records indicate that Microsoft is staking claim over novel software that allows employers to monitor staffers’ body language and facial expressions during virtual and in-person meetings, and delivers a numeric “productivity score,” topping out at 800, for companies overall.

The technology garnered little buzz during Microsoft’s Ignite conference in October, Forbes reported last week. Since then, security experts have had a chance to take a deeper look at Productivity Score.

“It’s horrendous,” said right-to-privacy researcher J.S. Nelson, associate professor of law at Villanova University. “Why are they monitoring people this way and what is that telling people about the relationship they should have with their employers in the workplace? What message are you sending?” he told Forbes.

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