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Amazon has obliged drivers in the US to agree to collect data from cameras in vans – otherwise, they will not be able to deliver packages

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The company installed the cameras in February 2021, explaining that they were needed for safety.

Drivers of Amazon’s delivery service in the US must now sign a “biometric consent” form in order to continue working for the company [1], The Verge writes on March 24.

It involves agreeing to collect data from cameras installed in delivery vans. Drivers must agree to the use of “certain technology, including cameras” as a “condition of delivering packages for Amazon,” [2] according to Vice.

The drivers in question are those who rent Amazon vans under the Partner Service Delivery programme. According to Vice, about 75,000 drivers could be affected.

What kind of data the company will collect depends on what kind of equipment is installed in the vans, The Verge suggests. But the agreement implies a wide range of data to be collected. This includes cameras using facial recognition to confirm driver identity and connect to an account, according to Vice.

Among those collected, for example, is data on the van’s movement, including speed, acceleration, braking, turns and distance travelled, “potential traffic offences” such as speeding or unbuckling a seatbelt. As well as “potentially dangerous driving behaviour” – when the driver is distracted from the road or falling asleep.

The company says it installs the cameras for “safety” and “to improve delivery”. But some drivers have already refused to sign the agreement.

  • Amazon installed [3] artificial intelligence cameras in vans rented by drivers participating in the Partner Service Delivery programme in February. They have built-in software that can detect 16 different safety issues, including if drivers are distracted, speeding, braking sharply and more.
  • In early March, senators from five US states wrote to Amazon [4] saying that the use of surveillance cameras in delivery vans “raises important privacy and worker oversight issues that Amazon must respond to”.
  • In September 2020, human rights activists had already spoken out about the hard work at Amazon – for example, the company has an electronic employee monitoring system, there are cameras in warehouses and drivers’ locations are constantly recorded.

Sources:

[1] https://www.theverge.com/2021/3/24/22347945/amazon-delivery-drivers-ai-surveillance-cameras-vans-consent-form

[2] https://www.vice.com/en/article/dy8n3j/amazon-delivery-drivers-forced-to-sign-biometric-consent-form-or-lose-job

[3] https://www.cnbc.com/2021/02/03/amazon-using-ai-equipped-cameras-in-delivery-vans.html

[4] https://www.cnbc.com/2021/03/03/senators-question-amazon-about-cameras-monitoring-delivery-drivers.html

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