Amazon’s in-van surveillance footage of drivers is leaking online

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An influx of videos taken from Amazon’s in-van surveillance cameras has been published on Reddit in recent weeks, sparking fresh concerns about the privacy of delivery drivers being monitored for their entire shifts. 

As first reported by Vice, two off-camera voices can be heard on one video published to r/AmazonDSPDrivers on July 3rd, commenting on an Amazon driver interacting with a customer’s dog. “She had a little guest with her today,” said one off-screen voice. The video is innocent enough, but it violates Amazon’s own privacy policy regarding its in-vehicle camera technology.

Drivers have expressed concerns about their privacy since these cameras were installed, likening the experience to being watched by “Big Brother.” Similar surveillance systems were a bargaining point in the negotiations between UPS and the International Brotherhood of Teamsters trade union earlier this month, with the courier company now tentatively agreeing to shut off its in-vehicle cameras.

The July 3rd video appears to have been recorded on a smartphone, which shows in-van surveillance footage being played on a PC monitor in an office that resembles that of an Amazon delivery service partner (DSP) — courier companies that usually operate out of Amazon warehouses and handle the retail giant’s door-to-door deliveries. A green box representing the van camera’s AI tracking system can be seen in the surveillance footage following the driver’s movements around the vehicle, alongside a timecode and a stationary “0MPH” speed marker.

It’s just one example of Amazon’s in-van surveillance that has been published to Reddit in recent weeks. In several cases, it seems these videos — some of which have been pulled directly from the in-van camera system — are not being published by the driver depicted within the footage, and it’s not entirely clear how these posters got access to the recordings.

Amazon started installing the AI-enabled cameras — supplied by Netradyne Driveri — back in 2021 to analyze drivers as they operate the vehicle and deliver packages. Amazon delivery drivers were later made to sign a biometric consent form to allow the company to collect information like photographs, vehicle location, speed, acceleration, “potential traffic violations,” and “potentially risky driver behavior” or lose their jobs. The surveillance cameras record on-device “100% of the time,” and the AI system uploads specific clips to the “secure servers” of Amazon or its partners when it detects a class of safety-related issues or opportunities to improve maps and routing. Uploads can also happen when Amazon, a DSP, or a driver makes a request.

Amazon’s privacy policy for its vehicle camera tech states that recorded footage is available to DSPs via a “secure portal” and that it only shares such information with other Amazon entities that have approved access. Amazon claims this information is otherwise protected by “reasonable technical and organizational security measures.”

“Delivery service partners have access to the Netradyne portal where the in-vehicle cameras automatically upload video content when there is a safety incident,” Amazon spokesperson Simone Griffin told Vice. “Delivery service partners can choose to share the video footage with their employees. However, for privacy reasons, publishing the content externally is a violation of program policies.”

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Originally appeared on: TheSpuzz