Study: Doorbell cameras take toll on delivery workers
Homeowners are increasingly using doorbell cameras, such as Amazon's Ring product, to surveil and even harass delivery workers, according to a recent report from Data & Society.
Why it matters: Surveillance isn't just companies watching people — it's also people watching other people, and doorbell cameras are a prominent instance of this sort of distributed remote observation.
What they're saying: "While doorbell cameras are heavily marketed and described as tools for safety and security in the home, they are also near-constant tools of workplace surveillance for delivery workers," researchers Aiha Nguyen and Eve Zelickson write in the report.
- Camera owners often use what the researchers call "boss behavior," using what they record to "monitor, instruct, and punish delivery workers."
Between the lines: Compounding the issue is the fact that many of those making deliveries are gig workers, who already lack significant benefits and job security.
The big picture: This is just the latest warning over how images from doorbell cameras are being used.
- Much of the previous focus has been on police use of private surveillance-camera footage, which privacy experts say is typically subject to few legal limitations and can easily be misused.