Would you give your boss permission to read your thoughts in exchange for more money?

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The assumption is simple. In a few years, when brain-machine interfaces can monitor your brain activity, your boss will be able to propose the following: place one in your head full time to know your emotions and your state regarding the work you are developing. Most likely, you will decline the offer. Who is going to want to be this controlled? In return, he offers you a succulent salary increase. So your opinion changes. Maybe it’s not as strange as it sounds, you think. “Maybe it’s just a way to monitor my performance.” Or not.

Its use can be negative: for example, if your thoughts are sold to a broker or if they are used to value a promotion.

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Thanks to these advances, both your productivity and your needs could be monitored. Your shortcomings and your potential. In short, everything that can influence your work goals. But is this possible? Science says yes. In fact, it is only necessary to take a look at the current technological offer to realize that the approach is not so far-fetched . For example, the Neuralink tool , developed by Elon Musk,seeks to read our minds and become an intermediary for us to communicate directly with machines, be they robots, computers, mobiles …Well that. It just takes time.

This relatively new situation raises questions that Amanda Pustilnik, Professor of Law and Neuroscience at the University of Maryland, has tried to answer in the report Neuroscience, Beyond the Brain of the Bankinter Foundation. “Until now, we have had privacy. We have been able to determine what we want to share and what we don’t because our brains are wrapped in this wonderful protective device that is the skull, ”explains Pustilnik who works at the Center for Law, Brain and Behavior at Mass General Hospital. However, “one of the problems now emerging between legislation and brain devices is brain-computer interfaces.” Yes, like the ones your boss might offer you in the future.

If it occurs, doubts are raised about how to allow third parties access to the information we generate and if we can prevent it in any way . Or put another way, how can we determine what information I want my boss to know and what not? Would access be total? What can you do with it?Well, its use can also be negative and, therefore, have consequences that affect the life of the worker. For example, if those thoughts are sold to a broker or if they are used to value a promotion.

I also want to profit from my data
As stated by Pustilnik, in this case the same rules used today cannot be applied to accept that a company uses your data after downloading an app. Here, the implications go much further: this is brain data . “Right now we do not have good legal models to address this issue,” ditch. Something that is also shared in the same report by Raúl Rubio, director of the IE Law School data protection program: “The legislator’s concern that our data is not used in an abusive way could lead to us being ourselves, and not only companies, those of us who profit from our privacy, or rather, from the lack of it ”.

The large amount of information that we emit daily through our computers or telephones already brings important challenges regarding privacy and security. If we add the mental data to that, the problem worsens even more. “People should be in control of their data and know what is being done with it, and now is the time to make it possible,” adds Alex Pentland, director of the MIT Connection Science and Human Dynamics Lab. “To do this, we have to express our rights as users to avoid misuse of the information that is handled about us ”. In that sense, and returning to the initial question, would you give in to your boss’s offer in exchange for a salary increase?

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