Digitizing Technology AI: Obsessed with being monitored by AI

When the company said to mount the camera in the car, Taylor thought it was a device to record his journey, not to track his every move.

Trevor Taylor, a driver at Homegrown bakery in Seattle (USA), decided to go on strike with his colleagues to protest the installation of AI cameras in cars.

In mid-August, Homegrown announced the installation of surveillance cameras on company vehicles. Drivers like Taylor fully agreed at first, thinking it was just a regular dash cam and that they would be useful in the event of an accident. However, what they did not expect was that this camera, instead of facing the road, was directed at the driver.

"I feel like I'm being targeted. This type of management is demoralizing, makes me feel humiliated, and creates a toxic work environment," Taylor told the Seattle Times .

The camera is used to track drivers.

According to the driver's description, it is a camera about 4 inches in size, equipped with AI technology with the ability to recognize faces, track each eye movement and built-in microphone. The Seattle Times later found out and said this camera is called Hawk, manufactured by the company Foresight Analytics. The product is said to collect data and feedback to drivers about their driving habits, with the aim of enhancing safety.

When questioned with Homegrown, Taylor was told that installing the device would help reduce insurance costs. However, he noticed an anomaly when his fleet had to install them, while some other fleets did not.

“One of the things that attracted me to the company is because they think they trust the drivers, believe we are experts in our field,” Taylor said, adding that being monitored by AI has brought "It feels so heavy".

Manya Janowitz, a female driver who worked for two years at Homegrown, described the company's actions as "intrusive, haunting, creepy", as people like her have to work 7-10 hours a day under supervision. artificial intelligence camera tracking. "It's a very intrusive feeling when you have to sit in the car for hours, and every eye movement is tracked. We know how to do our job well," says Janowitz.

Manya Janowitz, a 29-year-old driver, outside a warehouse operated by the company. Photo: The Seattle Times

Not only Homegrown, more and more companies are using technology to track employee performance. Delivery company UPS installed frontal cameras to monitor drivers. Amazon has also been repeatedly opposed by using surveillance cameras to fine drivers.

According to Ifeoma Ajunwa, a law professor at the University of North Carolina, this is because technological advances have outpaced privacy laws. "Advances in a number of areas such as big data analytics, communications collection, mobile product design, DNA testing, biometrics, have greatly expanded the capacity to monitor workers. ", he said.

To fight the tracking, drivers like Taylor, Janowitz decided to go on strike. In an announcement on August 26, they said they had won and were allowed to use a visor placed on top of the camera. "We're proud that we've made our first fight against surveillance," says Janowitz.

Anita Seth, President of the union Unite Here Local 8 - representing workers at Homegrown, said the victory shows that workers can protect their privacy and respect for them, and at the same time there will be no No worker deserves such intrusion and constant supervision.

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