A camera company is paying employees in India to scream at armed robbers in the US

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2021-06-24 03:14:46

In a short video of the security camera, you can see a clerk at a small convenience store grabbing a bottle of coffee from the fridge and drinking it. When he returned to the counter, a voice from an invisible man came from a loudspeaker in the ceiling and inquired about whether he had scanned the code and paid for the item.

In another video, a cashier is standing behind the counter talking to someone in the corner. There was a ‘ding’ sound and a voice from the ceiling asked the cashier who the other man was and then ordered the man to move forward and take a more visible position to the side. the other side of the counter.

Cashier stole coffee in the shop

The videos above are just a few examples that Live Eye Surveillance, a Washington-based company, uses to demonstrate the effectiveness of its products. It’s a continuous surveillance camera system that monitors stores and allows remote operators to intervene whenever they see something they deem suspicious.

According to a sales email, if you pay $399 per month for this service, someone in Karnal, India will watch your business’s video feed 24/7.

A job posting on the company’s website describes this job position as “acts as a virtual custodian of locations, to ensure the safety of overseas employees and to require them to complete assigned tasks.”

Live Eye Surveillance is one of many companies profiting from the growing adoption of workplace surveillance tools during the pandemic. However, according to human rights experts, corporations have exploited this vulnerability to introduce a wide range of spying tools in the name of safety.

The remote surveillance camera broadcasts a warning at the store that there is a robbery.

“We are using insecurity about the risk of being robbed as an excuse to target workers,” he said. Eva Blum-Dumontet, a senior researcher at Privacy International, shared. “This is really an excuse to reframe the way we’re doing things. Basically what’s happening with workplace surveillance is employers trying to track down their employees to make sure they don’t. make sure they fit the idea of ​​productivity. This is very harmful to employees’ mental health.”

Live Eye Surveillance did not respond to requests for comment.

On its website, the company claims several large corporations as its customers, including 7-Eleven, Shell, Dairy Queen and Holiday Inn. Many of those businesses are franchised, and from Live Eye documentation it is unclear whether corporations purchased the surveillance system or if it was purchased by individual franchise owners.

A former 7-Eleven field consultant, who has overseen many stores, shared that he was concerned when a store owner showed them Live Eye Surveillance promotional videos. The consultant, who requested anonymity to protect his remaining contacts with the company, said the surveillance system was a “problem-finding solution”, because theft and theft of employees actually cost 7-Eleven franchise owners very little.

Even worse, the former consultant said, the specific form of surveillance that Live Eye Surveillance is selling could actually put store employees at risk.

In one of the sample videos that Live Eye Surveillance sent out to potential customers, two robbers in black, one armed with a rifle, ran into what appeared to be a 7-Eleven store and forced the clerk behind the counter. give money. As the clerk opened the cash register, Live Eye Surveillance’s system emitted a chime and a voice alerting the robbers that the police had been notified and were on their way. They then ran out of the store.

“That’s how someone gets killed,” said the former adviser. “You don’t want to startle someone, especially if that person is holding an assault rifle. That violates 7-Eleven policy. There’s a reason why there are silent alarms at banks. goods and other businesses.”

7-Eleven did not respond to a question about whether the corporation condone the use of Live Eye Surveillance systems. The company released a statement that: “7-Eleven cares deeply about the safety of its partners and customers. We provide every 7-Eleven store with a basic security system that includes CCTV and an alarm system. , however, independent franchise owners can install their own systems on top of what’s offered.”

The COVID-19 pandemic has spurred the spread of workplace monitoring tools for both “white-collar” and “blue-collar” employees, Blum-Dumontet said, but has it had an impact. commensurate with low-paid employees.

“There are a lot of people who have lost their jobs, a lot of people who don’t have many options whether to take the job or not“, said this expert. “This is why employers neglect to consider forms of monitoring to see if it causes real damage to employees.”

Refer Vice

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