Employee surveillance even with cameras is rampant. Employers argue this, among other things, with the protection of the data of the company and its customers. With the coronavirus pandemic forcing many employees to work from home, surveillance follows them home. The call center group Teleperformance films its employees on behalf of the transport operator Uber in the bedroom when the agent has to work there.
Colombian Teleperformance employees have the US-Sender NBC News reports that their contracts allow the employer to use AI-assisted video surveillance including recording of their work area. The contract also requires biometric data such as fingerprints and photos of the employee. This even applies to employees under the age of 18.
Call center for well-known companies
Teleperformance is a French customer service provider with over 380,000 employees in 83 countries. Customers include well-known companies such as Apple, Amazon, and Uber. While Apple has stated that it prohibits video surveillance of employees at contractors and that Amazon does not require special employee surveillance, Uber has apparently already requested it.
According to Ubers, not all of the workforce is monitored in this way. The Teleperformance call center employees are one of them. Because they have access to credit card data and customer journeys, as an Uber spokesman said when asked by NBC News.
Cramped home office in Colombia
In some countries, however, working from home is difficult in times of coronavirus due to small apartments. Many employees do not have a home office or a free room, so they may have to set up their work equipment in the bedroom. A Colombian employee told NBC that the contract required constant surveillance – which includes family in cramped environments.
A Teleperformance employee told NBC that the only suitable space for their work is the bedroom. Only there is it quiet enough to take customer calls. However, she works at night and her husband sleeps there during her shifts. This is an invasion of her privacy and the rights of her husband and the mother-in-law who also live there.
Legal options are limited
The Colombian employees want to organize against domestic video surveillance by Teleperformance. Legal resistance is a challenge. Many countries have laws against surveillance in public spaces, but often not for the work area.