A recent BusinessWeek article talked about the work at JPMorgan Chase to predict patterns of behaviour in order to allow the bank to have an early warning system on employees who may be trending toward misbehaviour. The summary on the web says:
JPMorgan is responding with efforts to change is culture, identify misbehavior before it happens, and reduce the risk that employees will break government regulations or company policies. These efforts include surveillance systems that analyze employees’ communications and behaviors to develop predictive models that will identify employees with high risks of engaging in unacceptable actions.
While the investment in surveillance systems and technology for predictive monitoring is motivated by efforts to decrease the risk of legal and ethical violations, it raises its own ethical concerns. The monitoring may create a deterrent effect that reduces risky behaviors, but it could also be used to punish employees flagged by the predictive model, even if they have not actually violated any regulation or policy. It may be difficult to implement and use predictive monitoring in a way that strikes the right balance between protecting employee rights and the interests of banks and their customers.
The article talks about the ethical concerns, but there is no doubt in my mind that something different must be done to how we deal with such issues today.
And if you have access to the actual article, there is a good counter-balancing effort underway to improve the culture at the bank through specific interventions.
Categories: Culture & Competency