Workplace surveillance technology is already a sensitive issue and Walmart might just have added fuel to the fire.
The company patented a technology that goes in the same tune with the “automated systems that imply their use will increase employee productivity”, song we keep hearing a lot about these days.
The patent filed by Walmart is described as a system of sensors that will be distributed throughout the facility.
The the sensors will pick up audio conversations from both the workers and the customers, which will be used to determine if the employees are performing on par with the company’s standards and afterwards, help in “cost savings” and “guest satisfaction”, the document states.
The system is also supposedly able to record the ‘beeps’ of the scanner machine to count the number of the items purchased and the sounds of people that are waiting in queue, which will measure how long the waiting time usually is. And, of course, the “audio of conversations between guests and an employee” so they can see if the guests are being greeted properly.
Needless to say, the surveillance technology might lead to potential privacy concerns. But hey, we were worried the government might be the one starting up micro-totalitarian regimes with areas that are under heavy video surveillance. Now, it seems we were wrong – companies can do that just fine.