(Photo : GettlyImages/ SOPA Images ) Amazon employees

Amazon plans to use a close surveillance measure on its customer service employees to detect better those who try to access customer data.

The e-commerce giant believes this surveillance is needed, especially when more employees are working from home.

Amazon to Monitor Keyboard Activities

According to the Amazon document obtained by Vice, the company first considered using software that automatically records all of the employee's keystrokes.

But now, the e-commerce company is leaning towards software that analyzes user behavior in a more general way to create profiles to ensure that it is the same person who uses the same device and not somebody else.

The behavior that it will track will include mouse movements, typing rhythm, and touch gestures.

The plan to monitor employees was revealed just months after Amazon received major backlash from the public for how it treats its workers.

Also Read: Amazon Allegedly Uses its Algorithm to Fire Contractual Flex Delivery Employees, Says Report

Amazon's document also points out different scenarios in which customer data could be stolen through employees' systems.

For example, an employee who does not live alone may leave their station without locking the computer's screen, or a hacker may have purchased the employee's security credentials.

The profile-generating software that the e-commerce giant plans on using is from the cybersecurity company called BehavioSec. It calls its product "behavioral biometrics."

According to BehavioSec's website, behavioral biometrics provides continuous authentication to verify users by monitoring their behavioral inputs.

BehavioSec also stated that the profiles of the users couldn't be duplicated or used to identify an employee. This is because they are all based on statistical variances.

However, Amazon stated that even though it is eyeing behavioral biometrics as the software that it will use to monitor employees, it is still looking for more privacy-aware solutions because of potential legal obstacles.

Amazon senior PR manager Barbara Agrait told Vice that the company does not share details on the technologies that they use, but they continually look for ways to protect their customer's data while respecting the privacy of the employees.

The e-commerce company also wants to make sure that they are compliant with the privacy laws and regulations.

In 2018, TechSpot reported the advantages and risks of behavioral biometrics. One issue with the software is that a user's behavior does not stay the same.

Some may even swipe and type differently depending on how they're sitting or how they're positioned, and the software might take as a red flag when it isn't.

Monitoring Delivery Drivers

This is not the first time that Amazon opened up about monitoring its employees while on the job. In March, CNN reported that Amazon delivery drivers had to agree to allow artificial intelligence-powered cameras to monitor their behavior while they work. 

The rule began in February, and Amazon's delivery drivers worked together with AI-powered cameras intended to track their driving.

The cameras are produced by Netradyne, a company that manufactures safety camera systems. It looks out for things like unsafe turns, improper braking, phone usage, driver drowsiness, and more.

If Amazon detects unsafe driving, it can use alerts to warn the driver about their performance. The cameras also take photographs of the driver for identity verification purposes.

Related Article: Amazon Labels Overworked Employees as 'Industrial Athlete' | Leaked Pamphlet Work Conditions

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Written by Sophie Webster

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