A call center company used by Apple, Amazon, and Uber, among others, has forced employees to sign a new contract that allows them to install AI-powered cameras at home to monitor work performance, according to NBC News.
Teleperformance, one of the world's largest call center companies, has allegedly required employees at one Colombian facility to sign a new contract, first issued in March, that "allows monitoring by AI-powered cameras in workers' homes, voice analytics and storage of data collected from the worker's family members, including minors," NBC said.
Six workers based in Colombia for Teleperformance, one of the world's largest call center companies, which counts Apple, Amazon and Uber among its clients, said that they are concerned about the new contract, first issued in March. The contract allows monitoring by AI-powered cameras in workers' homes, voice analytics and storage of data collected from the worker's family members, including minors […]
"The contract allows constant monitoring of what we are doing, but also our family," said a Bogota-based worker on the Apple account who was not authorized to speak to the news media. "I think it's really bad. We don't work in an office. I work in my bedroom. I don't want to have a camera in my bedroom."
The worker said that she signed the contract, a copy of which NBC News has reviewed, because she feared losing her job. She said that she was told by her supervisor that she would be moved off the Apple account if she refused to sign the document. -NBC
Teleperformance spokesperson Mark Pfeiffer said that the company is "constantly looking for ways to enhance the Teleperformance Colombia experience for both our employees and our customers, with privacy and respect as key factors in everything we do."
There was no explanation of how Teleperformance could advance such an invasive monitoring program on some of its employees, considering Apple forbids its contractors from doing this.
Apple spokesperson Nick Leahy said that the company "prohibits the use of video or photographic monitoring by our suppliers and have confirmed Teleperformance does not use video monitoring for any of their teams working with Apple." Leahy said that Apple had audited Teleperformance in Colombia this year and did not find any "core violations of our strict standards."
"We investigate all claims and will continue to ensure everyone across our supply chain is treated with dignity and respect," he added. -NBC
A similar incident occurred at an Albanian call center operated by Teleperformance. Workers complained that the company wanted to introduce video monitoring in their homes in late 2020.
Teleperformance asserted that the use of at-home surveillance was to mitigate data breaches while employees worked remotely.
This should not be shocking since companies began using digital surveillance technology to increase control and maintain productivity while their employees worked remotely during the virus pandemic. Now some of this technology appears not as much temporary as first believed, but somewhat permanent.