Employee Surveillance Is Making Its Way Into Homes
Published · Aug 11, 2021
Teleperformance, a multinational corporation based in France, provides call center services for a range of companies, including giants like Apple, Amazon, and Uber. It is now requiring some employees to consent to video monitoring in their homes.
An NBC investigation has found that Teleperformance employees in Colombia, a country in which the firm employs 39,000, are being pressured into signing a contract that will see surveillance installed in their homes.
This includes AI-powered cameras, voice analytics, and storage data collected not just from employees, but their families too, including minors.
Many home-based staff work from their bedrooms and are naturally hesitant to have surveillance equipment installed in these intimate spaces. In comment, Amazon, and Apple said that they did not ask Teleperformance to implement this surveillance for their contract employees.
Apple pointed out that it forbids the monitoring of service provider employees who are working on its contracts. Uber, on the other hand, requested the ability to monitor “some” workers. The company was vague, however. It didn't provide details on which workers would be monitored.
Bringing Home the Aggregation
Unfortunately for the privacy-conscious, there are still few laws protecting privacy the world over.
Technology is expanding at a pace that leaves legislation forever playing catch up. The aggregation of big data for use in things like people searches, targeted advertising, and background checks leave many feeling exposed.
Market solutions that provide protection are available. Tools like VPNs cover one’s online activity, and ID theft protection services defend against malicious actors.
Those can’t protect against surveillance of the type that Teleperformance is vending, however. Not when employees must sign contracts condoning the installation of it in their homes.
Some workers are pushing back against the implementation of such technology. Given the level of the tech's proliferation, the battle will be global. It will also likely lead to multiple different outcomes.
Garan is a writer interested in how tech reshapes the environment, and how the environment reshapes tech. You'll usually find him inoculating against future shock and arguing with bots.