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Amazon: We see you when you're Peeing, We know when you're unsafe...

Summary

 Amazon drivers must consent to biometric monitoring or lose jobs.

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1.

Quote

The monitoring comes from cameras in their vehicles, which will take their photos and track their driving for unsafe behaviors. 

Reuters reported earlier this month that some drivers are quitting over what they see as a violation of privacy. Vice reported Tuesday that it obtained screenshots of the consent form that drivers must sign. The agreement allows Amazon to collect biometric information in the form of photographs in order to verify driver identities, and to monitor drivers' location and movement, "including miles driven, speed, acceleration, braking, turns, and following distance."

2.

Quote

Amazon spokesperson Deborah Bass said the camera program is meant solely as a safety measure.

"We piloted the technology from April to October 2020 on over two million miles of delivery routes and the results produced remarkable driver and community safety improvements -- accidents decreased 48 percent, stop sign violations decreased 20 percent, driving without a seatbelt decreased 60 percent, and distracted driving decreased 45 percent," Bass said. "Don't believe the self-interested critics who claim these cameras are intended for anything other than safety."

3.

Quote

Some drivers have reported not having time to find a bathroom. The cameras will monitor for drivers who urinate or defecate outdoors.

 

My thoughts

1. I can understand the safety benefit and Amazon making sure their drivers are driving well but this is a bit much...

2. "Don't believe them, these are not the droids you're looking for"

3. OK now I'm 100% against this. Just have a GPS monitoring speed and acceleration and braking for safety, you don't need a camera on the drivers face, or back if peeing, to ensure safety

 

Sources

https://www.cnet.com/news/amazon-drivers-must-consent-to-biometric-monitoring-or-lose-jobs-reports-say/

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I think the title here is very misleading, as is your thoughts on the article.

Cameras in vehicles make sense. They're not really a violation of privacy; you don't own the vehicle, it's company property, really, you have no right to privacy within it. Drivers saying they can't find time to find a bathroom? Bullshit. Plan your life better. Public urination, in a lot of places, is illegal.

 

If it really did reduce problems by 48%, I'm all for it.

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2 minutes ago, dizmo said:

I think the title here is very misleading, as is your thoughts on the article.

Cameras in vehicles make sense. They're not really a violation of privacy; you don't own the vehicle, it's company property, really, you have no right to privacy within it. Drivers saying they can't find time to find a bathroom? Bullshit. Plan your life better. Public urination, in a lot of places, is illegal.

 

If it really did reduce problems by 48%, I'm all for it.

I'm not against safety but you don't have to have a camera to accomplish it. An accelerometer and speed tracker accomplishes the same thing they claim to want to track. 

As far as the peeing goes, it's long been an issue that they don't have the time in their shifts to find a restroom without missing quotas and losing their jobs. If you have experience as a driver and have had plenty of time to plan restroom breaks, let's talk about it. But if you're just assuming they all suck at time management, that's a stretch for me. It's not like this hasn't been long documented with talk of peeing in bottles at distribution centers too. I'm not inclined to give Amazon the benefit of the doubt here. While public urination is wrong, if you gotta pee in the grass or lose your job, then the company is not structuring the shift correctly. 

Overall, safety is great but while the vehicle belongs to Amazon, my face belongs to me. I shouldn't be forced to be on constant video feed or get fired for something that can be accomplished without camera

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Posted (edited)

<removed by staff>
but yeah i agree, I'd rather work for mcdonalds again than amazon

Edited by SansVarnic
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Amazon owns the vehicles, not the employees so it makes perfect sense to track where those vehicles are doing. It’s like a company issuing laptops to their employees with restrictions in place like restricting what domains can be accessed, what programs to run. Heck, a company has the right to fire anyone who tries to tamper those restrictions. If I issue my employee a laptop and tried to watch porn or download the entire 9 episodes of WandaVision via torrenting by attempting to uninstall the endpoint protection software, that would fall classify under tampering and destruction of private property. Same goes for jailbreaking and rooting a company issued phone or tablet.
 

Also, I don’t see how could a union solve such problems. I might be shortsighted to this issue as I have never worked for a company with unions. Besides, Amazon workers now got their $15/hour minimum wage. 

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Just now, Jtalk4456 said:

I'm not against safety but you don't have to have a camera to accomplish it. An accelerometer and speed tracker accomplishes the same thing they claim to want to track. 

As far as the peeing goes, it's long been an issue that they don't have the time in their shifts to find a restroom without missing quotas and losing their jobs. If you have experience as a driver and have had plenty of time to plan restroom breaks, let's talk about it. But if you're just assuming they all suck at time management, that's a stretch for me. It's not like this hasn't been long documented with talk of peeing in bottles at distribution centers too. I'm not inclined to give Amazon the benefit of the doubt here. While public urination is wrong, if you gotta pee in the grass or lose your job, then the company is not structuring the shift correctly. 

Overall, safety is great but while the vehicle belongs to Amazon, my face belongs to me. I shouldn't be forced to be on constant video feed or get fired for something that can be accomplished without camera

Uh, they're not asking for your face. They're simply putting cameras into their property. Just like some companies use your fingerprints to log you in and out. You're in a piece of company property, you have absolutely no right to privacy. It's been proven time and time again, even with children who see themselves in a mirror, that if you feel you're being watched, even by yourself, you're significantly more likely to behave.

 

Frankly, if the drivers don't like it, quit. It's not like there isn't a long line of people that won't have a problem with it.

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Amazon and the KGB are closer than ever before.

In a free country only those who are known criminals or suspected/convicted of a crime can have their right of privacy violated under the law.

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24 minutes ago, dizmo said:

Uh, they're not asking for your face. They're simply putting cameras into their property. Just like some companies use your fingerprints to log you in and out. You're in a piece of company property, you have absolutely no right to privacy. It's been proven time and time again, even with children who see themselves in a mirror, that if you feel you're being watched, even by yourself, you're significantly more likely to behave.

 

Frankly, if the drivers don't like it, quit. It's not like there isn't a long line of people that won't have a problem with it.

Actually they are asking for their face, literally in the contract

Quote

consent to biometric monitoring

and whether people act good on camera or not is irrelevant to whether a company should be able to require video monitoring in a situation where it isn't necessary. Again a dash cam will have the same "mirror effect" without reducing the drivers privacy.

To clarify I'm not arguing whether the employee has the right to privacy, I'm arguing the employee SHOULD have the right to privacy to the point where it doesn't interfere with the safety of the job. If the same goals can be accomplished with gps and motion tracking, there's no reason for the company to use a more intrusive method like a camera

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19 minutes ago, Jtalk4456 said:

I'm arguing the employee SHOULD have the right to privacy to the point where it doesn't interfere with the safety of the job.

Sorry but if it reduced accidents by 48% then it sounds like the job was being done rather unsafely before hand...

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Amazon is delivering packages now? They sure are not where I live in Canada, they use any random shipping carriers they can find, who in turn hire any random idiots on the street. 

One particular shipping company they use is the worst (intelcom), they keep delivering my stuff to the wrong street. Same door number, different street and different postal code. My trust in them is extremely low, so if this makes it so they are less distracted and actually look at which fucking street they are on, I'm fine with it. If it wasn't for the nice lady who lives at that address giving me a call every time, I'd have to be fighting Amazon each time about failed delivery.

The fact that this reduced accidents by 48% is insane.

 

That said, I'm guessing this is mostly US stuff, right? Because we have labour laws in Canada that would make it illegal for them to work 10 hours without the possibility of having a long enough break to find a place to take care of their personal business at (even if every toilets are closed because of covid).

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22 minutes ago, imreloadin said:

Sorry but if it reduced accidents by 48% then it sounds like the job was being done rather unsafely before hand...

you're assuming that's 48% more than having gps, accelerometer, dash cam, and braking monitoring. They didn't mention, but I'd be hard pressed to believe that 48% isn't just vs a vehicle with no tracking. Also how are they measuring it? Are they "reducing safety issues" by just firing every driver they see do the slightest thing wrong? what is the measurement for safety incidents?

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23 minutes ago, TetraSky said:

Amazon is delivering packages now? They sure are not where I live in Canada, they use any random shipping carriers they can find, who in turn hire any random idiots on the street. 

One particular shipping company they use is the worst (intelcom), they keep delivering my stuff to the wrong street. Same door number, different street and different postal code. My trust in them is extremely low, so if this makes it so they are less distracted and actually look at which fucking street they are on, I'm fine with it. If it wasn't for the nice lady who lives at that address giving me a call every time, I'd have to be fighting Amazon each time about failed delivery.

The fact that this reduced accidents by 48% is insane.

 

That said, I'm guessing this is mostly US stuff, right? Because we have labour laws in Canada that would make it illegal for them to work 10 hours without the possibility of having a long enough break to find a place to take care of their personal business at (even if every toilets are closed because of covid).

This is actually aimed towards contracted drivers like you have. We have the occasional actually Amazon driver, but most are contracted here too

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17 minutes ago, Jtalk4456 said:

you're assuming that's 48% more than having gps, accelerometer, dash cam, and braking monitoring. They didn't mention, but I'd be hard pressed to believe that 48% isn't just vs a vehicle with no tracking. Also how are they measuring it? Are they "reducing safety issues" by just firing every driver they see do the slightest thing wrong? what is the measurement for safety incidents?

While it's true, they didn't have a separate test without a camera, those percentage decreases are still very significant. And that's not how it works, they can't just fire the employees committing infractions and claim a reduction. Just means that over the 2 million miles of the pilot, there were less of everything vs. 2 million miles prior.

 

There's not much to an objection regarding company property. Just as an Amazon warehouse (or really any retail store/warehouse) has security footage, so do their vehicles; not to mention, other logistics companies use tracking devices, cameras, and dash cams and there's no such uproar regarding those measures, and with good reason, it's unfounded.

 

Working in a company vehicle, on company time, is not the same as going to the bathroom or something. There is no logical reason for privacy, and nothing sensitive should be occurring in the vehicle during work hours to warrant such a complaint. 

 

The other side to this is, Amazon also gets to ensure if anything happens in terms of theft, assault of drivers, accidents or other issues, they will have footage to help in apprehending robbers or the like, furthering the safety argument.

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[Sigh]

Amazon is not the first to do this.

This is no invasion to privacy, what you do on company time is company intellectual property.

Amazon has the right to protect its investments, both personal and physical property.

Those cameras also protect you. Try the other shoe, supervisor claims your slouching.... umm camera proves otherwise. Didn't open the world of thought on this article to much....  and that is just the tip of the iceberg.

 

What I see is this ... people whining about cameras being used to enforce worker accountability. 

The urinating thing, (I can't believe I have to explain this) if you're not old enough [mentally] to find a bathroom when its time then well, you are not competent to be working anyway. Not to mention this public urination and defecation in most countries is illegal.

 

I see absolutely nothing wrong here.

 

Lastly, this topic is not worth the time to address, post and to be replied too.

After having been a COO for a company for 10years my sympathy for [driver] is kinda low.

 

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I challenge someone to try and convince me that this "article" has any relevance to ... anything valid.

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1 hour ago, TetraSky said:

Amazon is delivering packages now?

As long as you have a car that can carry packages with - you can be an Amazon delivery person:

https://logistics.amazon.co.uk/

 

But Amazon treats them badly:

https://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/news/business-consumer/amazon-probe-demanded-after-undercover-13773002

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56 minutes ago, SansVarnic said:

What I see is this ... people whining about cameras being used to enforce worker accountability. 

The urinating thing, (I can't believe I have to explain this) if you're not old enough [mentally] to find a bathroom when its time then well, you are not competent to be working anyway. Not to mention this public urination and defecation in most countries is illegal.

 

As has been pointed out delivery drivers being given unreasonable expectations that make taking the time to arrange proper bathroom breaks is a previously documented issue. It shouldn't be a thing, but US labour laws are garbage so it apparently is.

 

Also i call bullshit on Amazon's statistics. Most of the stuff they say decreased is stuff they had no way of measuring previously. SO personally i don't trust it worth a damm.

 

That said i don't necessarily have an issue with the camera's in principle, however thats on the basis of the labour laws as they exist where i live. Given the US's utterly awful labour laws, and amazons tendency to be at the centre of all kinds of worker treatment scandals, (even in Europe), i don;t exactly trust amazon to use this in a solely acceptable manner and that is an issue. And i'd bet it's at the heart of why the drivers are up in arms. It's not about  what amazon is saying they'll do with it, but about all the other things they will probably go and do with it.

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2 minutes ago, CarlBar said:

Given the US's utterly awful labour laws

Not going to turn this into a derailment, but that is an opinion, having employed many I see no issue with the labor laws, outside stupid wage minimums.

 

OT: 

I'm not defending Amazon, its known they have less than desirable labor issues so I dont trust them either, but my point was more about the cameras and the complaint surrounding it them. As for the time for peeing thing, it not hard to report labor law breaches, DOL (Dept of Labor) is easy to call and submit complaints. If you're not allowed to stop or detour to hit the restroom when needed for legit use, then yeah there is a problem but I cant see how this is an issue outside poor ability by the driver to plan appropriately. There is no openly available evidence to make a proper assessment here so I made my comment based on my experience running a company.

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If you are driving an Amazon delivery vehicle while directly employed by Amazon, then sure I agree with the cameras and biometrics. I'm honestly surprised they haven't been in their vehicles before now. You are operating Amazon property, delivering merchandise that also isn't your property. Amazon has a right to protect its property and its customers.

 

If you are operating your own vehicle or another company's vehicle, as a part of a third party delivery service... that's where things get iffy.

 

This post does not take into consideration how Amazon treats its employees as a whole, this is just in the context of this thread.

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4 minutes ago, SansVarnic said:

If you're not allowed to stop or detour to hit the restroom when needed for legit use, then yeah there is a problem

 

There are from what i understand states in the US where it's completely legal for amazon to mandate this, thats really a labour law issue, but since that is unlikely to change going after the symptoms is about all that can be done. It's not true everywhere from what i understand but the US labour laws really vary a lot by state because a lot is down to individual states.

 

6 minutes ago, SansVarnic said:

Not going to turn this into a derailment, but that is an opinion, having employed many I see no issue with the labor laws, outside stupid wage minimums.

 

 

First let me be clear on somthing. Yes it's an opinion. And i won't demand you do things my way or advocate anything that would force you to, (provided you in turn don;t do the same), but that doesn't mean i won't state my disapproval. But your free to disagree and i'll respect that. If invited to go into the whys and wherefores i'll happily debate the points ofc. But i try, (emotional investment makes us all act how we'd prefer not to somtimes, it's easy to step back when your not in the middle of a debate all emotionally invested), to allways settle for agree to disagree at the worst.

 

At the same time my opinion on the topic is shaped in turn by my opinion and views on other things and as much as possibble i prefer to state that kind of thing as i go. Part of my ASD induced "acurratte answer" OCD thingy.

 

2 minutes ago, poochyena said:

on't really see how this is different than cameras at a warehouse or office building. dash cams are incredibly common in cars and very useful.

 

A dash cam is a bit different than a camera filming the driver constantly, and i think there would be far less beef with somthing like that.

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31 minutes ago, CarlBar said:

A dash cam is a bit different than a camera filming the driver constantly

...how? There are lots of dash cams that film inside the vehicle, along with outside.

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1 minute ago, poochyena said:

...how? There are lots of dash cams that film inside the vehicle, along with outside.

 

Ma be a US vs Europe difference or just what i've encountered but i've never send any cam that films inside described as a dash cam. Those are allways called somthing else, (usually security camera as i've seen them most on busses and taxis).

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1 hour ago, SansVarnic said:

it not hard to report labor law breaches, DOL (Dept of Labor) is easy to call and submit complaints.

In particular if you have or know there is video recording of unreasonable working hours or conditions. Amazon could try and fire you and your counter is, go ahead I will dispute this as an unlawful dismissal and I can guarantee I will find a lawyer to pro bono this and take a cut of the payout I know I will get.

 

You'll have times logged and recorded of any breaks you have so unless you are having more or taking longer than you should Amazon is shit out of luck.

 

The only group at risk is people that don't hold a lawful permit to work in the US who couldn't report it, obvious reason why.

 

The real issue is there is always someone willing to put up with these problems, that's how it can happen in the first place.

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