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Data mining for judging the values of employees and how to stop it

BusinessWeek publishes an interesting article on how data mining and social network analysys (SNA) are starting to be used by human resources department in order to automatically determine the value of each employee.

The strong-worded beginning (speaking about a social network graph) is:

Each circle represents an employee. Those who generate or pass along valuable information within the company are portrayed as large and dark-colored. And the others? “On a relative scale, they don’t add a hell of a lot,” says Elizabeth Charnock, chief executive of Cataphora, the Redwood City (Calif.) company that carried out the study for a client. The upshot for managers faced with a mandate to downsize: Small and pale circles might be a good place to start cutting.

Is there a way to stop this? I think the correct way is to inform employees precisely about:
* the information the tech tools they use (email, intranet, …) they use is generating about themselves and which information is stored and how
* the use the management can do and cannot do of this stored information (for example, if it can be used for anonymous statistical analysis of performance of tech tools).
* their right to ask the removal of any information about them from the logs (in Italy there is a precise law that gives you this right).

It is surely a tricky topic but the possibilities of control and tracing will only increase with time so it is important to start discussing it asap. What are your thoughts?

International politics 2.0 and … Obama is a genious!

Obama left a message on YouTube for all Iranians!
Points to note:
* emphasis on directly (“speak directly to the people and leaders of the Islamic Republic of Iran”)!
* message posted on Youtube!
Now imagine the President of Iran, Ahmadinej?d, leaving a directly video message to all Americans on the web!!! We live in interesting time, don’t we?

Download .mp3, .mp4, or .mp4 with Persian subtitles  |  Read the transcript in Persian

In particular, I would like to speak directly to the people and leaders of the Islamic Republic of Iran. Nowruz is just one part of your great and celebrated culture. Over many centuries your art, your music, literature and innovation have made the world a better and more beautiful place.

So in this season of new beginnings I would like to speak clearly to Iran’s leaders. We have serious differences that have grown over time. My administration is now committed to diplomacy that addresses the full range of issues before us, and to pursuing constructive ties among the United States, Iran and the international community. This process will not be advanced by threats. We seek instead engagement that is honest and grounded in mutual respect.

There are those who insist that we be defined by our differences. But let us remember the words that were written by the poet Saadi, so many years ago: “The children of Adam are limbs to each other, having been created of one essence.”

Following the complete transcript:

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