(Natural News) A new pilot program from Amazon will furnish some of the company’s delivery fleet with artificial intelligence (AI) surveillance cameras that will track everything happening in and around them, even if it is unrelated to Amazon’s delivery business and in no way involves Amazon customers.
Described as “the largest expansion of corporate surveillance in human history, Amazon’s AI-based surveillance scheme is a boon to the spying industry, which has advanced by leaps and bounds in recent years.
According to reports, the four-lens cameras, known as Driveri, are manufactured by a San Diego-based tech startup known as Netradyne. The devices will record their surroundings 100 percent of the time that Amazon vans are in operation.
Driveri’s AI software is capable of detecting 16 different safety issues, from drivers’ eye movements to vehicle speed and braking patterns. Drivers who violate these safety features will be told through an automatic audio alert to change the way they drive.
“Safety is our top priority at Amazon and it’s our hope that this new system will give drivers and DSPs [delivery service partners] peace of mind while out delivering smiles to our customers,” stated Karolina Haraldsdottir, a senior manager for “last-mile safety” at Amazon, in an instructional video that was sent to DSPs.
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Not all Amazon drivers are on board with the plan, and neither are their labor union and privacy advocating partners.
“[Amazon] will be watching everyone including your kids,” warns the digital rights group Fight for the Future (FftF), which launched a petition warning the public that if this is allowed to persist, “Amazon will have roaming eyes in every neighborhood, shopping center, and intersection in our communities.”
“Along with the millions of Ring doorbell cams, floodlight cams, and mailbox cams, Amazon will have the perfect panopticon in place to sweep up unprecedented amounts of data en masse.”
With its more than 2,000 law enforcement partnerships already in place, Amazon will soon be sharing footage from the new surveillance program with police, just like it already does with data from Ring cameras, “giving them access to license plates, biometric data, and enabling them to use facial recognition to track anyone’s movements across neighborhoods and cities.”
“Beyond fueling the expansion of the police surveillance state, this means even if you don’t use Amazon you’re going to be in their system, being monitored, and targeted,” the FftF petition further reads.
Back in 2018, former Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos introduced an AI-based facial recognition tool known as “Rekognition” that had been adopted by at least one police agency, in Oregon, to aid in fighting “crime.”
This latest video surveillance technology builds upon that concept, making every human being a potential target for illegal spying and surveillance.
FftF deputy director Evan Greer, in a statement, warned that Driveri threatens to “violate everyone’s basic rights by constantly collecting and analyzing footage of our neighborhoods, our homes and our children.”
Such data “can and will,” he warns, be shared with law enforcement in the same way that Rekognition is, or was since Amazon issued a one-year moratorium on Rekognition last summer due to concerns about its alleged inherent algorithmic bias.
Following the reported deaths of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor, Amazon’s spying technologies immediately became politicized as if they are somehow only used to target “minorities.” Truth be told, Amazon is a threat to all humans, regardless of their skin color.
Because of all this, Greer is “demanding that Amazon immediately stop the roll out of this unsafe program,” and is pushing Congress “to launch a full investigation into Amazon’s surveillance empire.”
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