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Amazon is going to start monitoring workers’ keyboard and mouse movements – here’s why

The monitoring will create behavioral biometrics to stop security breaches but let’s be real, it’s just to tighten the screw a little bit more.

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Image: KnowTechie

Amazon’s customer service workers are going to get a new watchdog on their computers, to guard against improper use of customer data. That’s according to a confidential Amazon document that Motherboard has seen, outlining the plans.

According to the document, the solution Amazon ended up going with is from a company called BehavioSec. Their software creates a behavior map of the user over time, like a digital fingerprint. Any significant deviations from that model get flagged up for review, as it could indicate a compromised account or even malware. It estimates that it could reduce “imposter takeover” by 100% by 2022.

Amazon’s main reason for implementing the software? The higher risk of “data exfiltration” as more and more of its office staff are working from home due to the pandemic. The retail giant also offered several hypothetical situations in how this could occur, like the worker forgetting to lock their computer and a roommate using Amazon’s system to search for purchases made by a famous person.

The document talks about four separate times that company data was stolen, which were discovered by manual audit. That number could be even higher, depending on the sample size used in the audit.

While this type of monitoring is intrusive, it could have been so much worse. Amazon was considering logging every keystroke on the worker’s computer but decided against it due to privacy concerns.

Maintaining the security and privacy of customer and employee data is among our highest priorities. While we do not share details on the technologies we use, we continually explore and test new ways to safeguard customer-related data while also respecting the privacy of our employees. And we do this while also remaining compliant with applicable privacy laws and regulations.

Barbara Agrait, Amazon spokesperson

This is also in addition to any monitoring solutions that Amazon’s contractors are implementing, like in-home surveillance cameras to monitor performance and arbitrary policies.

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