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France fines Amazon $35 million over ‘excessive’ worker surveillance

Illustration of Amazon’s logo on a black, orange, and tan background.
Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge

France’s National Commission on Informatics and Liberty (CNIL) has fined Amazon €32 million, or about $35 million USD, for “excessively intrusive” worker surveillance that the commission says puts “continuous pressure” on employees in Amazon’s warehouses. Amazon called its conclusions, which put the company in violation of the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), “factually incorrect.”

Following an investigation prompted by press reports, CNIL said that Amazon’s systems measuring and restricting scanning speed (including a “stow machine gun” indicator that activates when workers are scanning too fast), along with the company’s data collection and retention practices, were “excessive” and violated several GDPR articles. So did…

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