The Future Of Work At Home: Mandatory AI Camera Surveillance

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Big Tech call centers who require employees to work from home are mandating the installation of AI-equipped cameras in their most private areas to squeeze that last ounce of work out of them. It’s like a micro-managed Amazon warehouse in your bedroom. ⁃ TN Editor

Colombia-based call center workers who provide outsourced customer service to some of the nation’s largest companies are being pressured to sign a contract that lets their employer install cameras in their homes to monitor work performance, an NBC News investigation has found.

Six workers based in Colombia for Teleperformance, one of the world’s largest call center companies, which counts Apple, Amazon and Uber among its clients, said that they are concerned about the new contract, first issued in March. The contract allows monitoring by AI-powered cameras in workers’ homes, voice analytics and storage of data collected from the worker’s family members, including minors. Teleperformance employs more than 380,000 workers globally, including 39,000 workers in Colombia.

“The contract allows constant monitoring of what we are doing, but also our family,” said a Bogota-based worker on the Apple account who was not authorized to speak to the news media. “I think it’s really bad. We don’t work in an office. I work in my bedroom. I don’t want to have a camera in my bedroom.”

The worker said that she signed the contract, a copy of which NBC News has reviewed, because she feared losing her job. She said that she was told by her supervisor that she would be moved off the Apple account if she refused to sign the document. She said the additional surveillance technology has not yet been installed.

The concerns of the workers, who all spoke on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak to the media, highlight a pandemic-related trend that has alarmed privacy and labor experts: As many workers have shifted to performing their duties at home, some companies are pushing for increasing levels of digital monitoring of their staff in an effort to recreate the oversight of the office at home.

The issue is not isolated to Teleperformance’s workers in Colombia. The company states on its website that it offers similar monitoring through its TP Cloud Campus product, the software it uses to enable staff to work remotely in more than 19 markets. An official Teleperformance promotional video for TP Cloud Campus from January 2021 describes how it uses “AI to monitor clean desk policy and fraud” among its remote workers by analyzing camera feeds. And in its latest earnings statement, released in June, Teleperformance said it has shifted 240,000 of its approximately 380,000 employees to working from home thanks to the TP Cloud Campus product.

At the end of 2020, workers at Teleperformance in Albania, including those working on the Apple U.K. account, complained to the country’s Information and Data Protection Commissioner about the company’s proposal to introduce video monitoring in their homes. The commissioner later ruled that Teleperformance could not use webcams to monitor Albanian workers in their homes.

“Surveillance at home has really been normalized in the context of the pandemic,” said Veena Dubal, a labor law professor at the University of California, Hastings. “Companies see a lot of benefit in putting in software to do all kinds of monitoring they would have otherwise expected their human managers to do, but the reality is that it’s much more intrusive than surveillance conducted by a boss.”

Teleperformance spokesman Mark Pfeiffer said that the company is “constantly looking for ways to enhance the Teleperformance Colombia experience for both our employees and our customers, with privacy and respect as key factors in everything we do.”

“We are committed to fair practices, equality, inclusion, diversity, non-discrimination, labor sustainability, ethics, and transparency,” Pfeiffer said, “and we will continue to do everything we can to uphold these values for both our teams and all our key stakeholders.”

Read full story here…

About the Author

Patrick Wood
Patrick Wood is a leading and critical expert on Sustainable Development, Green Economy, Agenda 21, 2030 Agenda and historic Technocracy. He is the author of Technocracy Rising: The Trojan Horse of Global Transformation (2015) and co-author of Trilaterals Over Washington, Volumes I and II (1978-1980) with the late Antony C. Sutton.
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Freeland_Dave

Like when Hell freezes over. It would make for some good porn though.

Carter

heh, heh, heh…you have no idea. If they want to, and you’re within range of any camera, you’re on candid camera. You know so little about what this realm of existence really is they can feed you any line of BS. Look at all of the architecture from earlier periods. Think that the arch de triomphe was built by people like us? Look at the thing, look how ornate, look how huge…read up on how heavy it is and how heavy each piece of it is, and tell me what kind of tools did they have at the time it… Read more »

james

Avoid the office jobs•••

Mary

Did you see the new WEF video on how great the work at home thing is going to be? 1984 is so painful to read, but this is where they are headed. We will own nothing, have no privacy—and we will be happy, right? In 1984 they only saw facial expressions to determine the last point. They have other plans for that determination now. I am encouraged by the show of independence from around the world— despite the censorship, word is getting out. We all have to refuse to comply—so that there will not be enough camps to fit the… Read more »