Retail giant Amazon is reportedly requiring its delivery drivers to sign a “biometric consent” form, which gives the company the ability to collect facial data, and if they refuse, they could lose their jobs.
“Amazon may … use certain Technology that processes Biometric Information, including on-board safety camera technology which collects your photograph for the purposes of confirming your identity and connecting you to your driver account,” the form, which was obtained by Vice, read. “Using your photograph, this Technology may create Biometric Information, and collect, store, and use Biometric Information from such photographs.”
The technology “tracks vehicle location and movement, including miles driven, speed, acceleration, braking, turns, and following distance,” the agreement said, adding that “as a condition of delivery packages for Amazon, you consent to the use of Technology.”
In February, Amazon, which employs 75,000 drivers, installed cameras, which were powered by AI, in all of its delivery vehicles. The lens would catch workers yawning, not wearing their seat belt, or dozing off, and the system would issue “automated verbal alerts” to correct the behavior.
A delivery driver earlier in the week called the process both a “privacy violation and a breach of trust” when he quit the company over the cameras.
An owner of an Amazon delivery facility told Vice that one of his drivers refused to sign the consent form.
“I had one driver who refused to sign,” the unidentified man told the outlet. “It’s a heart-breaking conversation when someone tells you that you’re their favorite person they have ever worked for, but Amazon just micromanages them too much.”
Asked to respond to the report, Deborah Bass, an Amazon spokeswoman, told the Washington Examiner: “Netradyne cameras are used to help keep drivers and the communities where we deliver safe. 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. Don’t believe the self-interested critics who claim these cameras are intended for anything other than safety.”
She also told CNBC that “investing in safety across our operations and recently started rolling out industry leading camera-based safety technology across our delivery fleet. This technology will provide drivers real-time alerts to help them stay safe when they are on the road.”