Amazon installs AI cameras to monitor its delivery drivers Business

Amazon has started installing artificial intelligence cameras that monitor delivery drivers, raising concerns among privacy activists.

The technology is imported from the United States and is intended to prevent accidents, but has been called “intrusive” and “frightening” by campaigners.

The e-commerce giant uses two cameras to record footage of its Amazon-branded vans in the UK, one looking out onto the road and the other inside the cabin.

They are intended to detect dangerous behavior including hard braking, speeding and driver distraction, and will send out “voice alerts” if they violate these standards.

The cameras agree to turn off automatically when the vehicle’s ignition is turned off. Drivers will also receive grades for driving safely.

Silkie Carlo, the director of Big Brother Watch, called the deployment “excessive, intrusive and frightening surveillance of workers”, saying it should be suspended.

She said: “Amazon has a terrible record of intensively surveilling its lowest earners using often highly inaccurate Orwellian spying technologies and then using that data to their disadvantage.

“This kind of directed surveillance could actually risk distracting drivers, let alone demoralizing them. It’s bad for workers’ rights and terrible for privacy in our country.

It is understood that Amazon will only have access to internal camera footage in exceptional circumstances. There is no live video feed available and the cameras will not pick up sound.

Since the technology was introduced in the United States, there has been a 48% decrease in accidents, according to Amazon. Driving without a seat belt has also decreased by 60% and distracted driving has also decreased by 75%.

A spokesman for the GMB union said that while there was no problem in principle with outward-facing cameras, those in the cabin were “a major distraction”.

They added: “There is already technology to ensure that drivers drive safely. We are against the fact that cameras are pointed in the face of drivers every second of every day they work. It’s surveillance, it doesn’t help driver safety.

An Amazon spokesperson said: “The purpose of introducing this technology is to keep drivers and communities safe, there is no other reason behind it. We have done a full evaluation of data privacy in accordance with applicable laws.

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This notice was published: 2022-05-22 06:00:00

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