Trucks with Eyes
Amazon is well-known for improving labor productivity with technology — like using digital sensors to monitor and regulate the activities of its employees in the name of economic efficiency. However, after introducing machine learning-powered security cameras in its delivery vans earlier this year, the firm is now warning staff that if they don’t want to be watched by artificial intelligence (AI), they will risk losing their jobs.
According to Vice, Amazon delivery drivers in the United States are now expected to sign “biometric consent” forms or be fired. The drivers are reportedly expected to sign the form this week, but the form does not specify what data the cameras will collect.
These aren’t your everyday cameras — they can identify when a driver yawns, isn’t wearing a seatbelt, or is generally distracted. Amazon also intends to use the cameras to monitor the positions and movements of its delivery vans, including tracking drivers’ speeds or if drivers failed to stop at a stop sign.
The cameras are always on and detect risky driver behavior. When risky behavior is detected, the system provides real-time feedback — notifying drivers to change their behavior.
Many employees who have refused to sign the consent form say they are disgusted by this degree of micro-management and feel it’s an invasion of privacy. Amazon maintains the cameras are not meant to be a dystopian tool to control employees, but they are meant to help drivers deliver to communities safely.
What do you think about Amazon’s new AI cameras? — do you think it’s an invasion of privacy?
I am not a financial advisor and my comments should never be taken as financial advice. Investments come with risk, so always do your research and analysis beforehand.