Will Amazon’s Worker Tracking Wristbands Cross the Privacy Line?

Using technology to improve productivity is a time-tested path in all aspects of manufacturing, including warehouses.

With each new iteration, measurements become more precise and therefore create more opportunities for improvement in both efficiency and revenue increase.

But a recent patent acquired by Amazon that would require employees to wear devices on their wrists which would track their every move has sounded alarm bells as to whether this new foray into advanced technology comes up against the need for privacy.

Back in February Amazon was granted two patents, 981277 and 9881266, that allows the company to create “inventory management systems and related methods” that would track employee movements in order to monitor their performance when dealing with inventory, as reported by Cecilia Smith, Atlantic Black Star.

The technology would emit ultrasonic sound pulses and radio transmissions to track where an employee’s hands were in relation to inventory bins and provide “haptic feedback” to steer the worker toward the correct bin, as reported by Ceyland Yegins in the New York Times.

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With each new iteration, measurements become more precise and therefore create more opportunities for improvement in both efficiency and revenue increase.

But a recent patent acquired by Amazon that would require employees to wear devices on their wrists which would track their every move has sounded alarm bells as to whether this new foray into advanced technology comes up against the need for privacy.

Back in February Amazon was granted two patents, 981277 and 9881266, that allows the company to create “inventory management systems and related methods” that would track employee movements in order to monitor their performance when dealing with inventory, as reported by Cecilia Smith, Atlantic Black Star.

The technology would emit ultrasonic sound pulses and radio transmissions to track where an employee’s hands were in relation to inventory bins and provide “haptic feedback” to steer the worker toward the correct bin, as reported by Ceyland Yegins in the New York Times.

Read full article