Thursday, May 13, 2021
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Amazon’s delivery workers must agree to AI surveillance or risk losing their jobs, report claims

In context: Amazon’s obsession with efficiency is well-documented at this point. The tech giant does everything it can to push workers to their limits, and encourage them to work harder in the name of supporting the massive, two-day-shipping empire Amazon has created. The latest efficiency-boosting measure the company has implemented is a bit more forceful than others, though.

Since February, Amazon’s delivery drivers (those working directly under the company, or for any of Amazon’s partnered delivery agencies) have been working alongside new AI-powered cameras intended to track most aspects of their driving. The cameras, produced by Netradyne, look out for things like improper breaking, unsafe turns, driver drowsiness, phone usage, and more.

If Amazon detects unsafe driving, it can use in-car alerts to warn the driver that their performance is flagging. The cameras may also take photographs of the driver for security or identity verification purposes.

Unfortunately, if you’re an Amazon driver (or a driver for an affiliated company) who would prefer not to be monitored so closely, you may not have a choice. The tech behemoth is asking delivery personnel to sign a “Vehicle Technology and Biometric Consent” agreement, as a “condition of delivering Amazon packages.”

In other words, if you don’t want to play ball, you’re fired. Or, at least, can no longer deliver Amazon packages — which probably leads to the same outcome. Vice reports that this agreement is live “nationwide,” so it’s unlikely that many of Amazon’s 75,000 drivers will escape its grasp.

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