Microsoft adjusts ‘productivity score’ tool after criticism

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Microsoft is adjusting the Productivity Score functionality in Microsoft 365. The tool will not show usernames and will only contain aggregated data, which cannot be traced back to individuals. The changes come after fierce criticism from privacy experts.

During the preview phase, the Productivity Score feature in Microsoft 365 had an option to see per user what they did in the software in the last 28 days. Microsoft now reports that this functionality will be removed in its entirety, as a result of the criticism that arose. Privacy researchers called Microsoft ‘s tool a “complete surveillance tool .”

The Productivity Score function will remain, but it will only show aggregated data at the organizational level. No one in an organization can use the feature to see how individual users are using Microsoft 365 apps and services, Microsoft says.

Microsoft is also adapting the interface to make it clearer, in its own words, that Productivity Score is a measure for assessing ‘the adaptation of technology’ within an organization and is not intended to judge the behavior of users. Microsoft states that “in recent days there has been confusion about the capabilities of the product.” According to the company, the tool was never designed to give a score to individual users.

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