If surveillance cameras and online monitoring aren’t Big Brother enough for you, then good news: Some employers and insurers are now keeping track of what workers eat and how much they weigh, according to MarketWatch.
Their goal is to keep their health-care and insurance costs down, which sounds reasonable enough. But the way they’re going about it is downright creepy: One health insurance company is keeping track of spending data so carefully that if someone buys plus-size clothes, the company could follow up with weight-loss info. See? Creepy.
The data on what you buy and how healthy you are has been out there for years, for better or for worse. But this new usage of it has some experts worried that it will lead to job discrimination. A doctor who is an advocate for medical-data confidentiality tells MarketWatch that “it’s a slippery-slope deal.”
Employers say they’re simply concerned about employee’s health. Johnson & Johnson pays employees $500 if they submit their health info, and $250 if they agree to various other health-management programs, like pregnancy counseling. All the data simply helps them provide “tailored and targeted messages.” In the end, the company saves money on health-insurance costs, and employees get healthier. Sounds good — but I can’t help but think we lose something as adults when we can’t just have a burger in peace.