France fines Amazon $35 million over intrusive employee surveillance

France’s data privacy watchdog organization, the CNIL, has fined a logistics subsidiary of Amazon €32 million, or $35 million in US dollars, over the company’s use of an “overly intrusive” employee surveillance system. The CNIL says that the system employed by Amazon France Logistique “measured work interruptions with such accuracy, potentially requiring employees to justify every break or interruption.”

Of course, this system was forced on the company’s warehouse workers, as they seem to always get the short end of the Amazon stick. The CNIL says the surveillance software tracked the inactivity of employees via a mandatory barcode scanner that’s used to process orders. The system tracks idle time as interruptions in barcode scans, calling out employees for periods of downtime as low as one minute. The French organization ruled that the accuracy of this system was illegal, using Europe’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) as a legal basis for the ruling.

To that end, this isn’t being classified as a labor case, but rather a data processing case regarding excessive monitoring. “As implemented, the processing is considered to be excessively intrusive,” the CNIL wrote, noting that Amazon uses this data to assess employee performance on a weekly basis. The organization also noted that Amazon held onto this data for all employees and temporary workers.


Source: France fines Amazon $35 million over ‘intrusive’ employee surveillance

Robin Edgar

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