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Walmart Patents "Big Brother-Style" Surveillance Technology to Eavesdrop on Workers' Conversations


#1

Walmart Patents "Big Brother-Style" Surveillance Technology to Eavesdrop on Workers' Conversations

Jessica Corbett, staff writer

Just the latest corporation to spark privacy concerns over worker surveillance efforts, Walmart has patented audio technology that would allow the retail giant to eavesdrop on conversations among employees and between clerks and shoppers, to measure employee performance.


#2

From the article:

“It seems we don’t need an authoritarian state to monitor our every thought—our biggest corporations are happy to do it for us.”

And our government is happy to let them, since it’s prohibited by the Constitution from certain acts, while corporations are generally much less constrained (see AT&T’s role in spying on internet traffic, for example).


#3

Shoppers must take advantage of this. We must speak into the whole foods employees bracelets and say I do not want to be served by a slave. We must also let Walmart eaves dropping hear us say I hate Walmart for doing this to their employees. Let’s all begin.


#4

How about we all change our name to Winston Smith?


#5

Why, in a capitalist system until its dismantling, we need unions to democratize–that is, every worker should have a say in how they are treated across the board–these absolutely undemocratic entities.


#6

AND to do so with all civility and decide that because of this, I will forfeit the purchase of a given item or perhaps simply decide to boycott at the checkout counter.

ADD: and forgo non-necessities and shop at the local co-op.


#7

It will be a wonderful way to advocate for unionizing.


#8

Who shops at Walmart anyway? If you do remind them what welfare queens they are. Chances are they are not going to hear very nice things about themselves.


#9

When it first came out how poorly they paid their workers I decided I wasn’t going to shop there and encourage that criminal behavior; but now everybody needs to boycott them with a vehemence!
** My husband brought up something a few days ago – most of their products come from China … with the tariffs, those products are going to get a lot more expensive and when they increase the price to cover the tariff those that shop at Walfart aren’t going to be able to afford to go there anymore, and it just might put them out of business. Now understand, I don’t wish anymore ill on so many of our fellow peons, but I would dearly love it if the tariffs that the orangubrat instituted only served to bankrupt one of his ‘owners’!


#10

This, is taking worker production, to the extreme.

What ever happened to Management oversight?


#11

That is a very good point and Walmart has been impacted by just such decisions. The trouble is they are global so that might provide some insultation. I’m not sure about that. When I stopped shopping there I had to look for alternatives, I actually like it much better. Once in a while I have to buy something there. I figure over time they have lost quite a bit by not changing. We have to keep up the good work, there are better ways without turning to Amazon.


#12

Walmart patent sez: “A need exists for ways to capture the sounds resulting from the people in the shopping facility …”

Unlike, say, a ‘need existing’ for the fourth amendment.


#13

If you still shop at Walmart, you’re not a progressive.


#14

Tragic, sad, time to move my several hundred monthly shopping elsewhere. Has the Wallmart family sunk this low? Relly?


#15

Progressive what? Fascist?


#16

Ajunwa said that “several studies have shown that there is a psychological impact of pervasive surveillance,” pointing to findings that it can actually “lead to this opposition feeling, where employees view the employer not as benevolent, but as dictators. And it can impact that attitude toward the higher-up and can lead to resistance.”
Yup. It just might.


#17

Private conversations: is nothing safe anymore anywhere?


#18

Walfart… setting the corporate bar ever lower.


#19

Morons shop at walmart.


#20

So much for the myth of the benevolence of the “free market”. I’m done with Wal-Mart!
It’s none of their damn business what the cashier and I say to each other!

The employees may not have the right to push back on this, but the customer certainly can, by
spending their dollars elsewhere.