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The Privacy Patent that Makes Workforce Cyber Intelligence Possible

Building an engaged workforce in a work-from-anywhere environment is important to business success. As noted in other posts, an engaged workforce clearly performs better and experiences less burnout. A strong company culture can help, but when people are rarely together, building and maintaining that culture can be difficult.

Measuring engagement can also be challenging. Unfortunately, a lot of organizations are trying to address this by conflating engagement with “productivity,” by tracking and measuring any activity involving a mouse, keyboard, or application. A recent New York Times article explains how intrusive this can be. It describes surveillance-based solutions that use keystroke logging, screen captures, reviews of private emails—even controlling webcams to surreptitiously snap pictures of users at irregular intervals to see if they are at their computers. These solutions send a clear message: the company doesn’t trust you. The results can also be counterproductive. One study found that “close performance monitoring (via cameras, data entry, chat and phone recording) had significant negative effects on job attitudes such as job satisfaction and affective commitment.”

At DTEX, we strongly believe that to be successful, any method for measuring workforce engagement must also respect employees’ privacy. Our customers have recognized our approach to this as unique and innovative. So too has the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. Our three patents for a “Method and system for anonymizing activity records” affirms that DTEX is the only company providing customers with a level of visibility needed to provide intelligence on employee activity along with maximum protection for the privacy of those employees.

DTEX‘s Workforce Cyber Intelligence platform provides a better way to protect organizations and engage with the workforce, while also respecting the privacy of employees. We built our solution with a “Privacy by Design” approach, minimizing excess (and unnecessary) data collection and using pseudonymization to mask data elements on individual employees by default, including username, email, IP address, domain name, and device name. By protecting user privacy, DTEX helps maintain organizational engagement, culture, and trust, and comply with privacy regulations including the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA).

Dual Authorization Required

Without due cause, no user activity or behavioral data is available to users or administrators—even those with elevated privileges. When workforce insights warrant the unbiased unmasking of personal identities—with a clear, evidentiary quality audit trail—it requires “dual authorization.” Two DTEX administrators (typically one from security and one from HR or legal) must agree to the unmasking and provide justification. All access to unmasked data is logged.

This approach is possible because of our patents. The techniques we use protect users’ privacy, but also the reputations of our customers and their legal liability. It allows DTEX to provide Workforce Cyber Intelligence to ensure an engaged workforce along with protection of organizational IP and sensitive data, while most importantly protecting the privacy of the individual.

The end result? Better employee engagement. That’s what we should all be aiming for.