Amazon is requiring that its 75,000 delivery drivers sign a “biometric consent” form by this week.
Anyone who refuses to sign will lose their job, Motherboard reports.
The form the company is requiring drivers to sign will allow Amazon to utilize AI-supported cameras inside their trucks that can detect a driver’s movements, sensing when they perform the smallest of actions, such as yawning or when they appear to be distracted. The company claims these cameras are meant to confirm a driver’s identity and connect them to their account, while also improving “safety” and the “quality of the delivery experience.” Karolina Haraldsdottir, Amazon senior manager for last-mile safety, explained back when the plan was announced in February that drivers should be held accountable for unsafe practices. As Motherboard notes, some drivers have likely committed safety violations in the past because of the pressure put on them by Amazon to meet demanding quotas.
Similarly, a worker for Amazon’s Staten Island fulfillment center said that as a “sorter,” she’s expected to inspect and scan at least 1,800 packages every hour in her 12-hour shift. That means she must average 30 packages every minute.
Amazon said the new surveillance cameras will also be able to track “vehicle location and movement, including miles driven, speed, acceleration, braking, turns, and following distance.”
“Netradyne cameras are used to help keep drivers and the communities where we deliver safe,” Amazon spokesperson Deborah Bass said in response to the news. “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.”
While drivers have been told that their jobs are dependent on whether they sign these “biometric consent” forms, Amazon isn’t their actual employer. Drivers for Amazon are hired through 800 third-party companies that operate out of the massive corporation’s delivery stations. An anonymous Amazon delivery company owner revealed that despite one employee being their favorite person they’ve ever worked with, their refusal to sign still resulted in their dismissal.