The Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) wants to track its own secret agents, using wearables to evaluate psychological drivers, cognitive abilities, mental wellness, and resilience, to spot issues and recruit the best.
It is not the first organization to adopt a corporate wellness policy, but this goes a bit further than what Fitbit offers. All the biometric data will be sent to a research lab, where analysts will process it and give feedback.
The program is optional, but it does hint at a future where agents are fitted with wearables before being employed, to test their mental fortitude and physical prowess.
“Selecting and evaluating a workforce that is well-suited for the psychological and cognitive demands of the diverse positions across the intelligence community is an important and persistent need,” said the notice details.
Spies need to age well
As agents become older, regular examinations may ask agents to wear a gadget for a few months to test stress, exercise levels, and other physical and mental levels to ensure that the agent is still hitting peak performance.
The same functionality is already being tested in various sports. It should allow analysts to pick up on any issues before match day and fix them.
Not everyone is on board with this eruption of wearables in the workplace, especially workforce protection groups and unions. In their view, the adoption of wearables in the workplace gives employers personal information on your life, like stress levels outside of work and lack of sleep, which could be used to discriminate against employees.
We haven’t seen any instances of this taking place so far, but the wealth of information that a wearable can track makes data protection and privacy two important areas where companies need to invest in, if they plan to implement a corporate wellness program.