Amazon employees in the US are required by the company to agree to extensive surveillance. From cameras in delivery trucks, facial recognition and AI behavior analysis, surveillance options include everything.
All-around employee surveillance
All employees of online retailer Amazon who are responsible for delivering the retailer’s packages must agree to far-reaching surveillance measures in the US. If they do not agree, they will be fired. With their consent, an all-round surveillance system is deployed. This consists of four HD surveillance cameras, which are installed in the delivery truck and permanently monitor the employees and their surroundings. In addition, there is facial recognition and an app for monitoring. The system uses AI (artificial intelligence) to detect the behavior of the drivers and also dangerous situations on the road. It is also used to document the delivery of parcels.
Through the monitoring system, Amazon wants to authenticate employees in the delivery truck with facial recognition and automatically link them to the driver’s account. For the recognition to work, employees must also consent to the workmanship of their biometric information. Employees see the surveillance measures as reprisal. The deadline to consent to the monitoring measures was March 23, 2021, some employees naturally see as a breach of trust and violation of privacy. Which is also absolutely understandable.
Amazon Mentor app
The is not the first attempt of the online retailer Amazon to further expand the monitoring of employees. Amazon had already required employees to take a selfie at the start of their shift and send it to Amazon, saying that documentation via keycard was not enough. To do this, drivers must use the Amazon Mentor app, which transmits the employee’s driving, phone usage and location to Amazon. Through the app, a score is also generated for each employee as a rating. The Amazon Mentor app is not only used with employees in the U.S., but also in Germany.
A former employee of the online mail order company told Reuters, “When we hit a bump, the phone would rattle, the Mentor app would log that I was using the phone while driving, and boom, I was docked.” With the four-lens AI-controlled camera installed in the delivery trucks, the employee’s face and body is monitored, recorded and analyzed throughout the shift. Any anomaly in the Amazon employee’s behavior is recorded by the camera’s AI, such as yawning or the like. Because of the surveillance, Amazon is criticized from time to time, and rightly so.