Amazon equips its delivery vans in the UK with artificial intelligence-powered cameras. Several are located under the front mirror. The moon is pointing at the person driving the car. Another is facing the street and the two are located on either side to provide a wider view. The American e-commerce giant justifies its choices by the need to ensure driver safety.
Security technology uses two cameras, one looking at the street and the other facing the cabin. It sends automatic voice alerts to the driver while on the road, along with advice via an app that helps the driver improve road safety and prevent accidents. This includes making sure the driver is wearing his or her seat belt and warning him or her if he or she fails to respect the wheel’s splintering, sudden braking, stop sign, or excessive speed. Other security options include a feature that allows drivers to trigger a video recording if they feel unsafe or threatened on the road, Amazon explains.
A survey of UK truck and van drivers reveals that 71% already use telematics in their vehicles and 80% use reverse cameras. 97% said that these technological advances have given them a sense of security in performing their duties. When presented with technology that uses a combination of camera and other features to provide security response, 93% of drivers say the technology will make them feel safe while performing their duties.
The Amazon approach reminds us of bosses who equip themselves with spyware to judge the productivity of their employees in teleworking. This strategy is intended to ensure that the latter are doing well in front of their computers for the work they are being paid for during this global epidemic. It is an equation to increase the productivity of workers; Some companies solve this by relying on collaborative work tools like Sneek that allow their employees to take pictures every 5 minutes through their streaming video service.
The software interface allows employers to have a “face wall” (for each office) that is active throughout the workday and presents pictures of employees taken by their laptops every five minutes. In fact, the app allows employees to automatically set up their webcam to take pictures of them every five minutes, depending on how often their boss needs them. Also, the employer can start a live video call with an employee by clicking on his photo, even if the latter does not accept. This is a default software setting that can be changed in terms of receiving calls in manual action, but it is part of the employer’s approval rules.
In terms of intrusion, this is a description opposite to the name of the application that secretly relates to the concept of action. In this regard, the company accurately indicates that Sneek was never designed to spy on anyone. Otherwise, we would be the worst spy agency especially since we named our app Snake. We know that many would consider it an invasion of privacy. We understand 100% that the latter may not be the solution for those who see things this way, but there are plenty of teams who are interested in staying in touch while working. Thus, according to the organization behind the application, the purpose is not intrusion of privacy, but office culture.
The parallel with the Amazon case surfaces itself. In fact, a van driver is clearly a distant worker. Some drivers, who asked to remain anonymous for fear of retaliation from Amazon, described the cameras as “annoying”, “Big Brother” and “a punishment.” Others say they are concerned that cameras connected to an AI system will add an extra workload that already involves the intense workload of delivering hundreds of packages a day. Drivers say that depending on the severity of the security breach recorded by the camera, they face disciplinary action, including dismissal.
What do you think of the use of such methods to judge a developer’s productivity? What does the emergence of security logic mean to you?
Is there any relevance for employers to use such tools?
Do you want to work supervised in such an active way?
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