Apple has asked all of its US employees to share their vaccination status voluntarily. According to Bloomberg, the company recently sent out a memo requesting workers, whether they currently work out of an office or not, to share that information by September 17th. Apple reportedly plans to use the data it collects to inform its ongoing COVID-19 response.
Bloomberg reports the company told employees it would keep their vaccine status “confidential and secure” by aggregating the information but said that could change in the future. “It is possible your vaccination status may be used in an identifiable manner, along with other information about your general work environment such as your building location, if we determine or, if it is required that, this information is necessary in order to ensure a healthy and safe work environment,” Apple said in the memo, according to the outlet. It's not clear what repercussions if any an employee will face if they do not provide their vaccination status by the deadline.
We’ve reached out to the company for comment.
Unlike Google, Apple currently does not require employees to be vaccinated before they can come to the office. Still, the company has started to nudge its workers in that direction more forcefully. For example, it recently began a campaign encouraging workers to get their shot.
The company’s request, and the admission that the information employees share with it may be used in an identifiable manner, come as Apple faces increasing scrutiny over how it handles the privacy of its workers. A recent report from The Verge detailed some of the company’s policies on that front. For instance, one such rule prohibits employees from wiping their work devices before returning them to the company. This latest policy may further fuel those concerns.