Amazon’s driver tracker app ‘Mentor’ fuels privacy concerns

By Rahul Vaimal, Associate Editor
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Global eCommerce giant Amazon is reportedly taking a lot of flak from its third-party delivery drivers for the use of its tracker app called “Mentor” which keeps a tab on their daily movements. 

While Amazon remarks the app as a means to ensure the safety of the drivers, pro-privacy activists and drivers see the mechanism as a tool for surveillance. The app which is also used to measure their performance allows the eCommerce platform to monitor the behavior of the drivers while on delivery service.

Amazon mandates that the app should be downloaded and used at all times during the service while it scores each driver for their driving performance. While the app reportedly helps drivers to avoid accidents and other unsafe driving habits while they’re en route to their destination, a section of drivers find the app invasive to their personal privacy while also pointing out the buggy nature of the app which led to unfair disciplinary action from their superiors.

Commenting on the matter first broken by leading media firm CNBC, an Amazon spokesperson remarked that “Safety is Amazon’s top priority. Whether it’s state-of-the-art telemetrics and advanced safety technology in last-mile vans, driver-safety training programs, or continuous improvements within our mapping and routing technology, we have invested tens of millions of dollars in safety mechanisms across our network, and regularly communicate  safety best practices to drivers.”

Earlier this month, Amazon had announced that it will install Artificial Intelligence (AI)-powered video cameras on its branded delivery vans which the tech giant said will “provide drivers real-time alerts to help them stay safe when they are on the road.”