Your company wants to become your Facebook friend

'Data profiling' using social networks is going to become more and more commonplace, according to a PwC report, so you'd better start deleting those posts.

by Adam Gale
Last Updated: 17 Nov 2014

There are few more awkward moments in the Facebook age than receiving a friend request from your boss. Do you accept it straight away? Do you do so only after frantically scrubbing your profile of all drunken pictures, snarky posts and inappropriate likes? Or do you just ignore it and hope it goes away?

Maintaining the boundary between our private and work lives may only get more difficult in the future. According to PwC’s new Future of Work report, there is likely to be more and more ‘data profiling’ of employees over the next decade, as Generation Y (those born from the 1980s to the early noughties) enters the workforce.

The report reveals younger people are more open to sharing their personal data (the shock) than their older colleagues, with 36% of Generation Y-ers happy to allow their bosses to have access to their social media profiles in exchange for more secure employment.

The report surveyed 10,000 workers and 500 HR professionals globally, and found that both groups identified technology as the factor most likely to change the workplace over the next five to 10 years (still shocked). Rather ominously for the more privacy-inclined among us, over three quarters of the HR professionals were either preparing or already prepared for this shift.

The rise of data profiling has far reaching implications. Anthony Bruce, HR workforce analytics leader at PwC said it could even ‘extend to real-time monitoring of employees’ health, with proactive health guidance to help reduce sick leave’. So next time you’re planning a mid-week blinder, expect the email at lunchtime reminding you that you won’t get sick pay for the next day’s hangover. Or just don’t accept your boss’s friend request. Your call.

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