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Walmart patent to listen to every sound

Chalianna Cesaille
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Walmart received a patent this week for technology that would allow them to hear every sound in the store.  Walmart believes that "a need exists for ways to capture the sounds resulting from people in the shopping facility and determine performance of employees based on those sounds [1]."  They want to "create a performance metric [1]" based on greeting customers, bags used per transaction, how fast the line moves, etc.  The Washington Post has an article in reference to this patent that discusses other companies also tracking their employees using new types of technology [2].  Both Futurism [3] and The Verge [4] note that this technology isn't much different from Amazon Go stores.  "Cashier-less stores like Amazon Go have been using similar systems to automatically charge shoppers for purchases without the need for checkout lines. [3]"  Does Amazon Go record and analyze audio?  I have only been able to find that they record video and infrared.  Amazon Go shows that customers are willing to be visually recorded in direct exchange for convenience, but will customers be willing to be audio recorded for potential punitive reasons for employees.  I understand that the recording could help employees sometimes to prove that they were not rude to a customer, but it seems that the technology is much more intended for demanding employee efficiency.  

 

Personally, I don't think Amazon Go and the newly patented Walmart system are comparable due to the different things being recorded and the different purpose, but I am intrigued to see other people's opinions.  Also, I am aware that the technology may never come to fruition, but the way the articles are trying to normalize the use of the technology bothers me.

 

 

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[1] - http://pdfpiw.uspto.gov/.piw?PageNum=0&docid=10020004&IDKey=5052AD693B0F%0D%0A&HomeUrl=http%3A%2F%2Fpatft.uspto.gov%2Fnetacgi%2Fnph-Parser%3FSect2%3DPTO1%2526Sect2%3DHITOFF%2526p%3D1%2526u%3D%2Fnetahtml%2FPTO%2Fsearch-bool.html%2526r%3D1%2526f%3DG%2526l%3D50%2526d%3DPALL%2526S1%3D10020004.PN.%2526OS%3DPN%2F10020004%2526RS%3DPN%2F10020004

[2] - https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/2018/07/12/what-walmarts-patent-audio-surveillance-could-mean-its-workers/?noredirect=on&utm_term=.0dc7dc618d42

[3] - https://futurism.com/the-byte/walmart-patents-system-listening-sound

[4] - https://www.theverge.com/2018/12/21/18151738/walmart-eavesdrop-patent-customer-employee-privacy

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@Chalianna Cesaille Please review the Community Standards and update your post accordingly as it does not meet posting guidelines.

 

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Good walmart employees are few and far between, the ones who actually love their jobs are even rarer.

And I don't know about you guys, but when I go to walmart, I don't usually have a great experience.

Be it because other clients are assholes who are seemingly unaware that there are other people in this world who might want to FUCKING PASS IN THE AISLE WITHOUT YOUR GOD DAMN CART TAKING THE ENTIRE SPACE! MOVE TO THE SIDE! Or just plain never finding what you're looking for because they STILL haven't implemented a system that tell you which aisle an item is. (Like what CanadianTire has on their website, they also have terminals in stores to look shit up too)

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And what happens when someone steals the recorded data for the purposes of identity fraud?

 

When will companies quit pretending and just start mugging people in the streets?

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This is a problem as someone could be on the phone and say a password out loud, credit card numbers, or other personal details

ƆԀ S₱▓Ɇ▓cs: i7 6ʇɥפᴉƎ00K (4.4ghz), Asus DeLuxe X99A II, GT҉X҉1҉0҉8҉0 Zotac Amp ExTrꍟꎭe),Si6F4Gb D???????r PlatinUm, EVGA G2 Sǝʌǝᘉ5ᙣᙍᖇᓎᙎᗅᖶt, Phanteks Enthoo Primo, 3TB WD Black, 500gb 850 Evo, H100iGeeTeeX, Windows 10, K70 R̸̢̡̭͍͕̱̭̟̩̀̀̃́̃͒̈́̈́͑̑́̆͘͜ͅG̶̦̬͊́B̸͈̝̖͗̈́, G502, HyperX Cloud 2s, Asus MX34. פN∩SW∀S 960 EVO

Just keeping this here as a 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It's scary how accurate Orwell was huh.

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funny thing is I support this

it happens on their turf which makes it nfl like

this content belongs to the nfl

 

 

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5 hours ago, firelighter487 said:

if they do it in employee-only area's that's pretty messed up.. 

How else are they suppose to catch employees trying to start Union's? 

I just want to sit back and watch the world burn. 

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6 hours ago, firelighter487 said:

if they do that in parts of the store that the public can access that's fine in my opinion. if they do it in employee-only area's that's pretty messed up.. 

So they can capture whatever customers are talking too? Uuuum, no thank you. And same for employees. There needs to be a line and everyone is stepping over it in recent months when it comes to basic privacy.

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Walmart already has a strong reputation for being very anti-union and threatening employees about it. This is just spying. I suppose the perfection of capitalism must march on

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IF USED RIGHT, This would be a great too to regulate customers & crowd, but other side of it would be the usage of it to snoop on every & all customers habit & behavior pattern & conversation on phone or private or with any-other within the vicinity by a private company without their permissions.

Details separate people.

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13 hours ago, TempestCatto said:

All they would hear are people yelling at each other from opposite ends of the store in Spanish,  and kids having a level 5 tantrum.

Living is SoCal this can't be any more true, lol.

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I imagine there are a hell of a lot of places in the world where walmart couldn't use this for privacy reasons.

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How am I ever going to be able to shit on Walmart while working at Walmart if they're listening to my conversation harder than the NSA is?

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susan: yo this walmart sucks look at those prices

 

cop: please accompany me outside the store maam

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Hope they don’t bug the toilets. I would not want to listen to every sound.

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1 hour ago, Amazonsucks said:

I would never set foot in walmart. This just reinforces that policy. Disgusting company.

So where exactly do you shop? You don't shop at Walmart or Amazon. 

I just want to sit back and watch the world burn. 

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8 minutes ago, Donut417 said:

So where exactly do you shop? You don't shop at Walmart or Amazon. 

Target, Kroger, Publix (if youre in like Alabama, Georgia and Florida), Cub (if youre minnesotan), Meijer, Albertsons, Hornbachers (if youre North Dakotan), Costco.


Specifically for groceries lol

 

Of course Target and Costco offers more than just groceries and those other stores are mostly grocery oriented.

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