Amazon: Drivers complain about new AI surveillance policy

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A new internal security policy from Amazon has caused controversy among some drivers who deliver to the company. They accuse the e-commerce giant of exaggerated micromanagement with a focus on productivity and invasion of privacy.

According to a report by Vice, drivers in the United States were forced to sign a new “biometric consent” term to continue working for the company. Otherwise, they can no longer work in the sector. The document frees Amazon and technology partners to use recording equipment that analyzes employee performance throughout the day.

The data ranges from facial photo identification mechanisms to find out if the driver is in fact the employee to a video recording during the entire travel time, capturing what happens inside the van. The material is analyzed in real time by an Artificial Intelligence, which identifies “dangerous behaviors” (such as yawning or using a cell phone, for example) and alerts the driver on the spot.

What is wrong with it?

The uninterrupted control of employee behavior and the need for excessive data consent displeased some of the drivers, who refused to sign the new terms because they found this “a new form of control” for the company.

In addition to the lack of privacy, critics believe that AI can make misjudgments and misinterpret certain behaviors, with “false positives” and incorrect interpretations of signs that can harm drivers.

What Amazon says

In a statement sent to The Verge website at the time the cameras were announced, the company explained its view on the installation of the equipment. According to the company, the goal is not to control the driver, but rather to create a new form of accident prevention, avoiding distractions or identifying whether the employee is sleepy, for example.

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“We are investing in safety in our operations and we recently started an industry pioneer project in our delivery fleet with a camera system. This technology will ensure drivers are alerted in real time to help them stay safe while on the road,” the statement says.

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