Activision Blizzard pays its employees for pregnancy data

Apr 10 2019 6 min read

Activision Blizzard pays its employees for pregnancy data ⚡⚡⚡ Esports and gaming news, analytics, reviews on WePlay! The latest news on WePlay!

The Washington Post has published an article that tells about an application that allows you to track the course of the pregnancy. The Ovia app requests your data every evening: body functions, sexual desire, medication, mood.

The price of the human

It seems to be a common thing: the app from your phone helps to deal with the difficult period in life. And in case of unforeseen circumstances, the Ovia data will easily help doctors to quickly understand, what’s wrong with you. But this story becomes much worse when, in addition to the woman and the app, a third character appears on the scene: the employer. The pregnant woman’s employer can monitor the process of pregnancy and upbringing of her children if she agrees to provide information.

Diana Diller is 39 years old event-manager for Activision Blizzard. According to her, the decision to give her data came along with a gift card. The company pays $ 1 a day for using the application.

Souce: The Washington Post

“Maybe I’m naive, but I thought of it as positive reinforcement: They’re trying to help me take care of myself.” 

The price of a person, even unborn one, is one dollar a day. And this price was appointed by Activision Blizzard.

The company may pay Ovia Health application developer for programming a particular app version. It can transfer data about the health - in general form without personal data - to the employer's internal website. Companies offer it along with other medical bonuses and encourage employees to enter as much information about their body as possible. It is alleged that these data can help companies minimize health care costs, identify health problems and improve planning for the coming months.

The original idea of helping pregnant women in such a difficult period of life was spoiled. Now it is a powerful monitoring tool for employers and medical insurers. Covering it with the idea of corporate well-being, they actively insist on collecting a huge amount of intimate data about the lives of their employees.

Source: Nico Marques

Previously, a similar initiative was proposed with fitness bracelets, which allowed literally to track every step of the employee and his involvement in the workflow.

Experts are concerned that companies may use this data to increase costs or reduce medical benefits. Or that women's intimate information may be disclosed in case of data leaking or security threats. However, it’s possible even without leaking: if the application summarizes the data for at least the entire department, in which there are few female employees, then it’ll be easy to find a pregnant woman in this department.

“The real benefit of self-tracking is always to the company,” tells Karen Levy, a Cornell University assistant professor who has researched family and workplace monitoring. “People are being asked to do this at a time when they’re incredibly vulnerable and may not have any sense where that data is being passed.”

Female bodies is a source of companies’ revenue

The number of applications for tracking pregnancy is growing. Many companies increasingly view the human body as a gold mine, rich in a wide range of medical data. This data is easy to track and monetize. Female bodies are portrayed as particularly profitable. Frost & Sullivan consulting firm stated that the femtech market, including applications for tracking menstruation, nutrition, and the sexual women’s health, can cost up to $50 billion by 2025.

Source: Activision Twitter

The Ovia’s spokeswoman says that the company doesn’t sell personal data for advertising. However, the license agreement, which must be accepted to use the app, has 6,000 words. We begin to read it and see how the Ovia’s spokeswoman is clearly disingenuous. The application provides Ovia Health with a “royalty-free, perpetual, and irrevocable license, throughout the universe” to “utilize and exploit” their de-identified personal information for scientific research and “external and internal marketing purposes.” Ovia may also “sell, lease or lend aggregated Personal Information to third parties,” the document adds.

How Blizzard monitors its employees

Milt Ezzard is the vice president of global benefits for Activision Blizzard. He believes that the Ovia’s acceptance has changed the atmosphere in the workplace: the voluntary disclosure of confidential information has become common.

The company introduced bonuses in 2014 for employees who tracked their physical activity using the Fitbit app (fitness tracker). Then some staff members expressed concerns about breach of confidentiality. In return, the company offered more opportunities to track health, including mental health, sleep, diet, autism, and cancer treatment. Milt Ezzard said that workers are comfortable and more profitable now.

Source: Nico Marques

“Each time we introduced something, there was a bit of an outcry: ‘You’re prying into our lives,’ ” Ezzard said. “But we slowly increased the sensitivity of stuff, and eventually people understood it’s all voluntary, there’s no gun to your head, and we’re going to reward you if you choose to do it. People’s sensitivity has gone from ‘Hey, Activision Blizzard is Big Brother,’ to ‘Hey, Activision Blizzard really is bringing me tools that can help me out.’ ”

But what tools does Ovia actually provide?

According to the company, pregnant women who take care of themselves will feel more confident and less likely to have a miscarriage or give birth through a caesarean section, which is more expensive in medical bills for the family and the employer.

“An average of 33 hours of productivity are lost for every round of treatment,” an Ovia marketing document says.

Marketing document for corporations gives the example: a woman gives birth to twins, receives the wrong treatment and spends 3 months in intensive care. The company is losing a million dollars. From here we get the real companies’ benefit: it’s easier to dismiss an employee who has unstable medical indicators than to pay for treatment and lose benefits from interoperability.

Stacey Sher, Co-President of Activision Blizzard Studios

Soft pastel colors, cheerful text and a general friendly mood are conducive to communication. And the notifications pushes for the notes: “You are beautiful! How are you feeling today?” But behind this friendliness are huge amounts of detailed data. Details of sleep, diet, mood and weight, when was the last sexual intercourse, how is your well-being, as well as the appearance and color of cervical fluid.

The application requests absolutely everything after childbirth:

  • Baby's name, gender, and weight;

  • Who and where helped to give birth;

  • Type of Birth: Vaginal or Cesarean Section

  • How long did the process take?

  • Did it include epidural anesthesia?

  • Details of any complications

How it really can help you, as the Blizzard’s employee?

Milt Ezzard said maternity apps like Ovia help the company stand out in the competitive industry and keep qualified women in the workforce. The company employs about 5,000 artists, developers and other workers only in the United States (and we know that there are more countries with Activision offices).

Source: Nico Marques

“I want them to have a healthy baby because it’s great for our business experience,” Ezzard said. “Rather than having a baby who’s in the neonatal ICU, where she’s not able to focus much on work.”

Obviously, every person is already monitored by his phone. The only question is, why simplify the task and voluntarily give the data about your body?

Don’t forget to follow us in social media to get the latest news and take part in the giveaways: Twitter, Facebook and Instagram


World Esports Stands for Charity and Peace in Ukraine

Donate to Techiia Foundation to support charity and people of Ukraine for those who suffer the most, for those who protect the country from the Russian army forces right now and for those who will never return from this war but remain in our hearts forever.

qr code
Destiny 2 has received the update 2.2.1
Destiny 2 has received the update 2.2.1
Forge of Masters. WePlay! League Day 3 Overview
Forge of Masters. WePlay! League Day 3 Overview


Epic Games sues Apple and Google after Fortnite's removal
Overwatch 2 campaign will follow multiple hero perspectives
Overwatch 2 campaign will follow multiple hero perspectives
Forever 21 launches an Overwatch collection
Forever 21 launches an Overwatch collection
BlizzCon 2019 Recap
BlizzCon 2019 Recap
The next Hearthstone expansion teased
The next Hearthstone expansion teased

Other Categories

WePlay Promotes

Stand with Ukraine


Ukrainian Army NBU Fundraising


Come Back Alive Foundation