Amazon Fined For 'Excessive Surveillance’ Of Employees In France

'Amazon tracked activity so precisely that it led to workers having to potentially justify each break.'

Amazon Fined For 'Excessive Surveillance’ Of Employees In France

Amazon has been fined €32 million (£27 million) in France for "excessive" surveillance of its employees, including techniques deemed illegal by the data watchdog, the BBC reported on Tuesday.

The CNIL stated that Amazon France Logistique, which oversees warehouses, recorded data captured by workers' handheld scanners.

It was discovered that Amazon logged activities so precisely that employees had to potentially justify each break.

Amazon stated that it strongly disagreed with the CNIL's findings, calling them "factually incorrect."

France's data protection agency investigated Amazon facilities in response to employee complaints and media coverage of the circumstances there.

It identified a number of places where Amazon had violated the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

This featured a system with three alarms in place to monitor employee activities, which the CNIL determined was illegal.

One alarm was issued if an item was scanned too quickly or within 1.25 seconds of scanning the preceding item, increasing the likelihood of error.

Another indicated intervals of 10 minutes or more, while a third recorded pauses of one to ten minutes.

The CNIL also questioned why Amazon needed to retain employee data for 31 days.

Responding to the results, an Amazon spokesperson stated: "We strongly disagree with the CNIL's conclusions, which are factually incorrect, and we reserve the right to file an appeal."

"Warehouse management systems are industry standard and are necessary for ensuring the safety, quality, and efficiency of operations and to track the storage of inventory and processing of packages on time and in line with customer expectations."

This article was originally published on the BBC.