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Industrial IoT and Privacy Protection

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11/29/2021—With the evolution of the Internet of Things devices (IoT), products enabled with everything from sensors to location tracking, major advancements have been made in how businesses are run. The IoT market is predicted to top $1.3 trillion by 2026, a huge growth from the $761.4 billion seen in 2020.1 As more businesses adopt IoT, utilizing the technology to do everything from monitoring employee productivity to streamlining data collection and creating business forecasts, privacy is a valid concern. With Connected Resources™ or CoRe, the world’s most comprehensive IoT-enabled resource management platform, we aim to streamline business practices while protecting your privacy and workforce.

Mobile apps are a component of IoT devices and are downloaded to someone’s cellphone for analytic purposes, including contact tracing, onsite location tracking, employee clock in or out time and more. In a previous article, we discussed in-depth seven reasons why timekeeping mobile apps are counter productive. The privacy issues with this kind of application are obvious, as requiring the use of an employee’s personal cellphone can not only endanger their personal data but also be discriminatory, should an employee not have a cellphone for personal reasons. VOS Systems custom designed their own privacy-centric IoT devices to be distributed to employees, protecting their right to personal privacy and ensuring everyone in your workforce is utilizing the same software.

CoRe smart badges are worn by your workforce to enhance safety, monitor productivity, record work hours, and track training and safety records. Our devices can also manage materials used on worksites, create AI-developed forecasts for your business, and effectively remove human data collection errors. Smart badges can simplify payroll, enhance safety with features like SOS-button alerts and emergency evacuation management, create a more accurate real-time view of budgets and worksites, creating more accurate estimates, and so much more. While the many capabilities of CoRe are vast, privacy is a value we work hard to maintain.

All data collected through CoRe smart badges can be anonymized and encrypted end-to-end to ensure employee identities and information are accessible only to designated admins in your company. Employee information collected with CoRe smart badges is only recorded during time spent at the worksite, within a designated Geofence that stops tracking devices when employees leave. For extra assuredness, employees can turn off their badges at the end of a workday.

While badges utilize location tracking to provide employee safety, foster productivity, and guard hazard zones, tracking stops when a worker is offsite. Tracking is also customizable, such as if your worksite changes due to travel. For example, lone workers whose worksite includes traveling to multiple areas can be tracked to ensure safety, and should an emergency occur in the field, they can quickly notify admins of their location.

In accordance with our privacy policy, VOS Systems and CoRe Connected Resources products are designed to protect all personally identifiable information of any company or individual using our products. No personal identifying information is stored on smart badges or is transmitted by or stored in our systems, other than personal information which a company using CoRe chooses to include. To specify, smart badges do not store or transmit any information that can identify an employee’s age, gender, movement, location (except for jobsite tracking), language preference, expertise (except for information in a smart badge’s training and safety profile), date of birth, or internet and social media contact information.

The only information used by CoRe is that which is provided by you for the purposes detailed above, with regards to smart badge usage. That information is sent to our servers and is non-identifiable, only admins of your CoRe dashboard can use the information and smart badge designations to identify workers. We also have a do not sell policy, assuring customers that we will not sell, trade or share user-provided information, including their name, phone number, email or physical address, with non-VOS third parties. Nor will we send mailings on behalf of other unrelated organizations. This policy applies to all information received by VOS and CoRe products, both online and offline, as well as any electronic, written or oral communication.

Improving safety and workplace productivity cannot be at the expense of personal privacy. At VOS systems, we’ve invested millions of dollars to deliver a solution that is cellphone independent and backed by software architecture that guarantees that.   

1 Crane, C. (2021, April 21). Re-hashed: 27 surprising IOT statistics you don’t already k..now. Hashed Out by The SSL Store™. Retrieved October 26, 2021, from https://www.thesslstore.com/blog/20-surprising-iot-statistics-you-dont-already-know/.

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