Amazon to its drivers: Sign 'biometric consent' form — or you're gone

As Big Brothers go, it doesn't get any bigger than Amazon. So there's a furor over the company's recent ultimatum to its contracted drivers: Either agree to surveillance by our new-age technology or find another job.

As Vice reported today, "Amazon delivery drivers nationwide have to sign a "biometric consent" form this week that grants the tech behemoth permission to use AI-powered cameras to access drivers' location, movement, and biometric data.

"If the company's delivery drivers, who number around 75,000 in the United States, refuse to sign these forms, they lose their jobs. The form requires drivers to agree to facial recognition and other biometric data collection within the trucks they drive."

Amazon manufactures the new technology and has battled against efforts privacy-based effort to restrict its use. Five progressive Democratic senators wrote to the company March 3 demanding it respond to the privacy concerns, with a deadline of tomorrow to provide an answer.

Vice reported that Amazon is arguing for the program in the name of safety concerns.

"In February, Amazon announced plans to install the AI-powered four-lens cameras, made by the tech company Netradyne, in all of its Amazon-branded delivery vans. The company says cameras are being used to improve "safety" and the "quality of the delivery experience.

"But as Thomson Reuters reported earlier this month, some drivers are quitting their jobs because of privacy concerns. The Netradyne cameras are able to sense when a driver yawns, appears distracted, or isn't wearing a seatbelt, according to a product description, and monitor drivers' body and facial movements."