French privacy watchdog fines Amazon €32m for excessive monitoring of warehouse staff

<img width="250" height="187" src="×187.jpg" class="webfeedsFeaturedVisual wp-post-image" alt="" decoding="async" style="float: left; margin-right: 5px;" link_thumbnail="" srcset="×187.jpg 250w,×525.jpg 700w,×576.jpg 768w,×90.jpg 120w,×184.jpg 245w,×375.jpg 500w, 1183w" sizes="(max-width: 250px) 100vw, 250px" /><p>Reportedly, managers at Amazon France Logistique keep such close tabs on employees that it infringes several rules in the European Union’s (EU) General Data Protection Regulation. CNIL’s investigation tagged using barcode scanners at various checkpoints along the chain as intrusive. Amazon strongly contested any irregularity in the use of these devices and said:</p>
<blockquote><p>We strongly disagree with the CNIL’s conclusions, which are factually incorrect, and we reserve the right to file an appeal. Warehouse management systems are industry standard and are necessary for ensuring the safety, quality, and efficiency of operations and to track the storage of inventory and processing of packages on time and in line with customer expectations.</p></blockquote>
<p>The CNIL implies this performance-management and quality-assurance system survey’s workers too closely and places them under ongoing pressure. <a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Amazon</a>, however, indicated that its Seattle base uses the same device, known as a stow machine gun, and process to ensure streamlined efficiency. It does not scan and record items if they are scanned too quickly in succession and is accurate to less than 1.25 seconds.</p>
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<p>With this gadget, Amazon can track productivity and inactivity. However, according to the General Data Protection Regulation, such precise monitoring is not legal. CNIL commented:</p>
<blockquote><p> … it was illegal to set up a system measuring work interruptions with such accuracy, potentially requiring employees to justify every break or interruption.</p></blockquote>
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