Amazon drivers must consent to biometric monitoring or lose jobs, reports say – CNET

Amazon delivery van

An Amazon delivery van, with the driver nowhere in sight.

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To keep their jobs, Amazon’s delivery drivers are required consent to biometric monitoring, according to multiple reports. 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.”

“As a condition of delivery packages for Amazon, you consent to the use of Technology,” the form reportedly says.

Amazon didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment on the reports, or to a question on what the deadline is for drivers to consent to the surveillance. Adam Schwartz, staff attorney with civil liberties advocacy group Electronic Frontier Foundation, criticized the requirement to consent to “faceprinting,” or recording images of faces for biometric purposes. 

“When a company says to its staff, ‘Give us your biometrics or you’re fired,’ that’s not consent,” Schwartz said. “We are disappointed by reports that Amazon is coercing its drivers, on threat of termination, to submit to faceprinting.”

A group of five US senators previously expressed concern over the video monitoring, asking Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos in an open letter to explain how the company will avoid violating workers’ privacy and putting them at risk by adding “unsafe pressure” to their fast-paced jobs.

The cameras, powered by AI company Netradyne, are triggered to record if drivers if they sense high speeds, hard braking, yawning and other potential indicators of danger. They also warn drivers of unsafe behaviors in some instances. The monitoring appears to apply to drivers who don’t work directly for Amazon, but instead for delivery hubs that contract with Amazon. 

Critics have said the pace of the job is unmanageable, with drivers expected to deliver more than 100 packages in a 10-hour shift. Some drivers have reported not having time to find a bathroom. The cameras will monitor for drivers who urinate or defecate outdoors.

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