Senators question Amazon about using cameras to monitor delivery drivers

Jeff Bezos, founder and CEO of Amazon, pictured on Oct. 2, 2019.

Elif Ozturk | Anadolu Company | Getty Pictures

Five senators are calling on Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos to abolish extra records on the corporate’s fresh deployment of “surveillance cameras” in autos utilized by reduced in dimension supply drivers.

In a letter Wednesday, Sens. Ed Markey of Massachusetts, Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, Bernie Sanders of Vermont, Cory Booker of Original Jersey and Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut requested for added clarity on Amazon’s exercise of photos restful by the cameras and the scope of their exercise, with a closing date for Bezos to acknowledge by March 24.

The letter used to be in step with reporting by CNBC in February, which published that Amazon lately began rolling out cameras from Netradyne in autos at a handful of reduced in dimension supply partners across the U.S. The cameras, which Amazon mentioned document drivers “100% of the time,” have four lenses that gain the road, the motive force, and both facets of the auto. The cameras are equipped with tool that’s expedient of flagging a sequence of safety infractions, in conjunction with failure to cease at a cease signal, speeding and distracted driving.

In a training video distributed to produce corporations, Amazon mentioned the cameras can support make stronger safety across its supply network, but drivers and privateness advocates raised concerns in regards to the aptitude for heightened employee surveillance and a lack of privateness.

The senators called on Bezos to address these concerns, adding that the corporate’s exercise of surveillance cameras in supply trucks “raises crucial privateness and employee oversight questions that Amazon must acknowledge.”

“While we applaud efforts to make stronger safety on the roads and scale back the plague of distracted driving, we decide an even bigger knowing of how your company will give protection to against doable novel safety hazards stemming from increased employee surveillance,” the senators wrote. “Even though Amazon may perhaps perhaps intend for its exercise of Driveri cameras to make stronger safety on the road, this surveillance may perhaps perhaps doubtless, in observe, carry out predominant stress on drivers to trail up on their routes, which may perhaps perhaps result in driver fatigue and lowered safety.”

The Netradyne cameras are correct a technique that Amazon seeks to display screen and tune its supply service partner program, which refers back to the network of Amazon-branded cargo trucks in administration of a rising fragment of the corporate’s final-mile deliveries.

As CNBC previously reported, Amazon additionally requires reduced in dimension supply drivers to obtain and consistently inch a smartphone app called Mentor that monitors their driving habits whereas they’re on the job. The app is designed to make stronger driver safety, but some supply drivers have described the app as invasive and raised concerns that bugs within the app can every so often result in unfair disciplinary actions from their manager.

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