20 Jun 2023
Behind every powerful AI system are huge numbers of people labelling and clarifying data to train it, contracted by companies like Remotasks, a subsidiary of Silicon Valley-based data vendor Scale AI, whose customers include the US military and OpenAI. Often the workers, who are assigned tasks they
10 Oct 2022
Technology companies that call themselves "AI first" rely on heavily surveilled gig workers who label data, deliver packages, moderate content, and perform gig work via platforms. Startups pressured by their venture capital funders even hire humans to pretend to be chatbots so they can claim to be
24 May 2022
A former Amazon warehouse worker writes that every day was "brutal" because of the "exploitative and dangerous" standards enforced by Amazon executives. Amazon's anxiety-inducing policies about bathroom use and low pay should be seen in context with fast food and retail workers, who frequently
11 Sep 2021
An excerpt from the new book "Arriving Today: From Factory to Front Door—Why Everything Has Changed About How and What We Buy", describes in detail the tracking systems used in Amazon warehouses to ensure workers meet their managers' targets. The system is a mix of surveillance, measurement
02 Jun 2022
Documents filed with the US National Labor Relations Board show that Amazon issues warehouse workers with radio-frequency handheld scanners to track and record every minute of "time off task". The filing is part of a dispute at the State Island Amazon warehouse, where workers voted to unionise in
12 Feb 2021
Amazon has begun issuing partner delivery companies with AI-enabled cameras to monitor and track drivers' behaviour on the road. The cameras add another layer of monitoring to existing requirements to run the smartphone app Mentor; drivers complain that the app's bugs lead to unfair disciplinary
06 May 2021
Amazon delivery partner companies are ordering their drivers to turn off Amazon's Mentor monitoring app so they can take more risks in order to hit Amazon's delivery targets. Mentor, made by a company called eDriving, is a smartphone app Amazon uses to monitor drivers in Amazon-branded vans that
17 Jul 2023
Numerous video clips from Amazon's in-van driver-facing surveillance cameras are appearing on Reddit in violence of Amazon's stated privacy policies and raising questions about drivers' privacy. The videos are clearly not being posted by drivers themselves, but come from inside Amazon delivery
12 Nov 2021
A 24-year-old man in Atlanta, Georgia is suing Amazon after being left with extensive brain and spinal cord injuries after an Amazon van crashed into his car. Amazon claims it isn't legally liable because the driver worked for the delivery company Harper Logistics LLC. However, the lawsuit seeks to
Emails obtained by EFF show that the Los Angeles Police Department contacted Amazon Ring owners specifically asking for footage of protests against racist police violence that took place across the US in the summer of 2020. LAPD signed a formal partnership with Ring and its associated "Neighbors"
03 Jun 2020
When Dallas police posted on Twitter asking for videos of the protests taking place after George Floyd's killing, a flood of videos and images of K-pop stars were uploaded to its anonymous iWatch Dallas tip-off app. Law enforcement can call on vast numbers of networked cameras - from cars, food and
28 Jul 2020
A growing number of companies - for example, San Mateo start-up Camio and AI startup Actuate, which uses machine learning to identify objects and events in surveillance footage - are repositioning themselves as providers of AI software that can track workplace compliance with covid safety rules such
05 Jun 2020
Hours before OpenDemocracy filed suit to compel the UK government to release all the contracts governing its deals with a list of technology firms including Amazon, Microsoft, Google, Palantir, and Faculty, the UK government released the contracts. Faculty is being paid more than £1 million to
20 Apr 2020
To speed up daily temperature checks, Amazon has installed thermal cameras to screen workers for coronavirus symptoms in its warehouses around the world. Cases of COVID-19 have been reported at more than 50 of the company's US warehouses. Thermal cameras will also replace thermometers at staff
15 Mar 2020
US government agencies are considering a range of tracking and surveillance technologies as part of efforts to control the spread of the novel coronavirus. These include: geolocation tracking and facial recognition systems to analyse photos, both to enable contact tracing. Palantir is working with
21 Nov 2019
Recent study shows that Americans are wary of data from smart speakers being used in criminal investigations, the Pew Research Center reported. A recent study showed that 49% of Americans answered that it is unacceptable for smart speakers companies to share audio recordings of their customers with