Employees are outraged because the company wants to monitor performance by installing CCTV in their homes


Images from Pixabay / PA

Employees at one of the world’s largest call center companies have expressed outrage after being pressured to have cameras installed in their homes to monitor work performance.

In a contract awarded to employees in March, call center company Teleperformance sought to install AI-powered cameras in workers’ homes or on their computers, as well as monitor staff through voice analysis and the storage of data collected from members of the worker’s family, including minors.

The company employs more than 380,000 people worldwide and provides outsourced customer service to some of the country’s largest companies, including Apple, Amazon and Uber.

Laptop on the desktop (Pixabay)Pixabay

Teleperformance’s attempts to pressure staff to sign the contract were uncovered by a NBC News investigation, which cited six affected staff in Colombia, where Teleperformance employs 39,000 workers.

An employee based in Bogota who works on the Apple account commented: “The contract allows constant monitoring of what we do, but also of our family. I think it’s really bad. We don’t work in an office. I work in my room. I don’t want to have a camera in my room.

The worker explained that she signed the eight-page rider to her existing employment contract because she feared losing her job if she didn’t, as her supervisor told her she would be taken out of the Apple account. if she refused. to sign the document.

She noted that additional surveillance technology has yet to be installed, but the contract says cameras point to staff members’ workspaces to record and monitor workers in real time, and that tools for AI-powered video analysis can be used to identify objects such as cellphones like around the workspace.

It also states that employees agree to share data and images relating to any child under the age of 18 that may be retrieved by the monitoring system, to share biometric data, including fingerprints and photos, and that they will take a polygraph test if requested.

According to NBC News, Teleperformance uses software called TP Cloud Campus to enable staff to work remotely in more than 19 markets. A promotional video for the software released earlier this year explained that it uses “AI to monitor clean office politics and fraud” among staff working from home by analyzing camera feeds.

In a June earnings release, Teleperformance noted that 240,000 of its approximately 380,000 employees are now working from home thanks to the TP Cloud Campus product.

Teleperformance spokesman Mark Pfeiffer said the cameras are used for spot checks of the company’s own office policy and occasionally to ensure workers are complying with data security processes and that ‘no data is recorded by the employees.

Webcam (Pixabay)Pixabay

He noted that AI-powered video analytics was currently only tested in three of Teleperformance’s markets, while biometrics and polygraphs are used in specific security studies with employee consent. The company also admitted to asking workers to consent to the sharing of data relating to minors, but said it does not share this data outside of Teleperformance.

Teleperformance staff have reportedly been told by management that customers have requested additional monitoring to improve security and prevent any data breaches, although Apple spokesman Nick Leahy said the company was “banning it. ‘use of video or photographic surveillance by our suppliers and confirmed Teleperformance does not use video surveillance for any of their teams working with Apple’.

Meanwhile, Uber said it asked Teleperformance to monitor staff to verify that only hired employees are accessing the data, that outsourced staff are not recording screen data, and that no unauthorized person is in the room. near the computer.

In response to the contract, some Teleperformance workers submitted a set of demands that include less intrusive surveillance, although labor protections are weak in Colombia.

Yuli Higuera, president of the Utraclaro y TIC union which includes around 100 Teleperformance workers, aims for Teleperformance to recognize the union and agree to allow workers to organize without suffering retaliation.

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