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Amazon selects BehavioSec biometrics for authentication of customer service staff

Elsewhere, staff say monitoring crosses surveillance line
Amazon selects BehavioSec biometrics for authentication of customer service staff

Amazon plans to adopt behavioral biometrics to monitor the mouse movements and keyboard strokes of its customer service employees according to a confidential document seen by Motherboard, while call center company Teleperformance has been accused of surveilling their staff and their families and even asking for biometrics and medical information.

Unions have been calling out the encroachment on staff and regulation of the technology used, while the technology firms continue their development including wearables for staff.

Amazon ‘plans to adopt BehavioSec product’ for staff monitoring

Vice’s Motherboard has seen a confidential Amazon document which states that Amazon’s security, legal and finance teams have opted for a product from BehavioSec to monitor customer service staff.

Amazon decided to use this approach to constantly verify a computer user by their behavioral biometrics rather than record everything a user does on a computer. The document reveals that Amazon is looking to boost security after imposters acting as customer service employees managed to access customer data on four occasions.

The company is also concerned about the legality of collecting keystroke data, so looked for “privacy-aware” software that uses different and anonymized data.

Staff working from home pose a particular vulnerability according to the document in instances where they may walk away from their computers without locking them leaving them open to house mates.

Amazon hopes to reduce imposter take over by 100 percent by the end of 2022.

BehavioSec continues to extend its behavioral biometrics capabilities with new patents and update its offering.

Call center outsourcing firm Teleperformance ‘asks for staff biometrics’

France’s Teleperformance call center company, which employs 380,000 staff in 34 countries, has been criticized by unions for the intrusive monitoring of home-working staff and even their families, reports The Guardian. The company is even accused of asking workers to hand over biometric and medical data.

An English-speaking Albanian worker who dealt with British customers was dismissed after objecting to video monitoring as she worked in her parents’ home. Another worker covered her webcam and was soon told her performance had been re-evaluated and she was sacked. The company told staff in March that it would monitor them to see if they were eating, looking at their phones or were away from their desks.

Teleperformance staff in Colombia who mainly deal with customers in the U.S. have been subjected not just to real-time video monitoring, but asked to provide biometric and medical details. A contract seen by The Guardian says staff must agree that photos and videos of themselves and family including children can be circulated within the company and even that they accept polygraph tests.

Teleperformance handles calls for companies such as Aviva, Vodafone and the Guardian newspaper itself, and in the UK it also works for government departments, the air force and navy.

The company said it complies with all regulations and that webcams are “primarily for collaboration purposes.”

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