Microsoft tweaks Productivity Score, removing employee names to preserve privacy

Redmond also clarifies that Productivity Score is being used to help IT admins better use the features of Office 365

Jared Spataro (Microsoft)

Jared Spataro (Microsoft)

Credit: Microsoft

Microsoft has attempted to defuse consumer worries that it might be spying on customers via a tool known as the Microsoft Productivity Score by removing individual names from the tool, the company has revealed.

For years, Microsoft has built analytics into Office suite, including a tool called MyAnalytics for evaluating your own productivity, and more groups-focused analytics tools in Outlook that measured how well the group collaborated, for example.

An offshoot of that service, known as the Microsoft Productivity Score, measured how well those enterprise workers were using the various features of Office 365.

Those insights, however, were tied to individual names of workers. The combination of the term “productivity score” and individual names prompted some to wonder if this was some form of surveillance tool for workers to spy on their employees.

In response, Microsoft has made some changes. First, the company said that it’s removing individual user names from the tool.

“Going forward, the communications, meetings, content collaboration, teamwork, and mobility measures in Productivity Score will only aggregate data at the organisation level—providing a clear measure of organization-level adoption of key features,” Jared Spataro, the corporate vice president for Microsoft 365, wrote in a blog post. “No one in the organisation will be able to use Productivity Score to access data about how an individual user is using apps and services in Microsoft 365.”

Credit: Microsoft

Second, Spataro said that the UI of the Productivity Score would be updated to note that it represents an organisational adoption of technology, not individual user behaviour.

The remaining three measures in the product— Microsoft 365 App health, network connectivity, and endpoint analytics—don’t include user names, Spataro noted. You can read more about the Productivity Score on Microsoft’s site documentation.

Spataro said that Microsoft had no intention of distressing employees. “We always strive to get the balance right, but if and when we miss, we will listen carefully and make appropriate adjustments,” he wrote.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags Microsoft

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.
Mark Hachman

Mark Hachman

PC World (US online)
Show Comments

Essentials

Brother MFC-L3745CDW Colour Laser Multifunction

Learn more >

Mobile

Exec

Budget

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Brand Post

Shining a light on creativity

MSI has long pushed the boundaries of invention with its ever-evolving range of laptops but it has now pulled off a world first with the new MSI Creative 17.

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Tom Pope

Dynabook Portégé X30L-G

Ultimately this laptop has achieved everything I would hope for in a laptop for work, while fitting that into a form factor and weight that is remarkable.

Tom Sellers

MSI P65

This smart laptop was enjoyable to use and great to work on – creating content was super simple.

Lolita Wang

MSI GT76

It really doesn’t get more “gaming laptop” than this.

Jack Jeffries

MSI GS75

As the Maserati or BMW of laptops, it would fit perfectly in the hands of a professional needing firepower under the hood, sophistication and class on the surface, and gaming prowess (sports mode if you will) in between.

Taylor Carr

MSI PS63

The MSI PS63 is an amazing laptop and I would definitely consider buying one in the future.

Christopher Low

Brother RJ-4230B

This small mobile printer is exactly what I need for invoicing and other jobs such as sending fellow tradesman details or step-by-step instructions that I can easily print off from my phone or the Web.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?