Last year, it was reported that Amazon was planning to use AI-equipped cameras to keep an eye on delivery drivers on their routes. According to The Telegraph, the company has now started installing such cameras on its vans in the UK. The move has sparked concern among privacy groups who called it “outrageous” and “creepy.”
Amazon will use a pair of cameras to capture footage from inside vans and on the road. They are designed to detect traffic violations or bad driving styles and provide an audio warning, while collecting data that Amazon can later use to evaluate drivers.
They do not allow drivers to be monitored in real time and do not record sound, but in certain circumstances can supposedly upload images to a special safety team. Some of the actions monitored include illegal behavior on the road, such as failing to stop or speeding, along with actions such as braking hard or violating a seat belt.
A privacy group called Big Brother Watch said the system is “excessive, intrusive and creepy employee surveillance” and called for it to be interrupted. “This kind of targeted surveillance can run the risk of distracting drivers, let alone demoralizing them,” director Silkie Carlo told The Telegraph. “It’s bad for workers’ rights and terrible for privacy in our country.”
The GMB union, which represents Amazon workers, said the cameras in the cabins are unnecessary and are a major distraction. “We are against pointing cameras in the face of drivers every second of every day they are working. This is surveillance, it is not good for driver safety,” a spokesperson said.
In a statement, an Amazon spokesperson told The Telegraph that “the purpose of introducing this technology is to keep drivers and communities safe for no other reason. We have conducted a comprehensive data privacy review in accordance with applicable law. “
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