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Intelligence Community Employing Wearables to Spy on New Recruits

The intelligence community may soon utilize wearable devices to assess potential agents.

As the pace and complexity of the challenges facing the intelligence community swiftly increase, implementing means to assess agents’ psychological and cognitive fitness becomes all the more imperative.

Thus, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence released a proposal recommending the use of wearable sensors to monitor the physical and psychological abilities of potential intelligence agents.

Called Multimodal Objective Sensing to Assess Individuals with Context, or MOSAIC for short, the program would collect data across an array of predetermined traits for a potential recruit.

The information would collectively form an in-depth profile in order to evaluate the individual’s potential as an intelligence agent.

According to the ODNI proposal, “methods that enhance our ability to evaluate an individual's psychological drivers, cognitive abilities, and mental wellness and resilience will enable improved capabilities to select the right person for the right job, evaluate and help maintain optimal performance throughout their career, and better understand and anticipate changes in an individual that may impact their work effectiveness, productivity, and overall health and wellness.”

In addition to new recruits, wearable devices would also monitor current agents to ensure they continue to perform at a predetermined level. This data, according to the proposal, could also help the agency evaluate and optimize employee behavior.

While using wearable technology devices is nothing new to organizations such as the National Football League and Major League Baseball who already track and measure the performance of their athletes and recruits, some experts fear agent data collection of this nature would put agents at risk. 

Timothy Keller, a technology lawyer and blogger, said "government personnel files have been hacked into in the recent past, with the possible consequence that government employees working undercover might have had their covers blown. In that light, having more information about those employees involves some trade-offs."

Posted in General News

Tags: special agents, intelligence community, ODNI, wearable technology

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