Walmart’s Newly Patented Technology For Eavesdropping On Workers Presents Privacy Concerns

Walmart has patented an audio surveillance system which can be used to listen to conversations between employees and customers at checkout. From a report: The “listening to the frontend” technology, as its called, is one of many futuristic ideas Walmart has sought to patent in recent years as it competes with Amazon for domination of the retail industry. While there’s no guarantee that Walmart will ever build this technology, the patent shows the company is thinking about using tech not just to facilitate deliveries or make its warehouses more efficient, but also to manage its workforce, which is the largest in the United States. Walmart declined to comment on whether it plans to use audio sensors to measure the productivity of its staff in the near future, but said in a statement, “We’re always thinking about new concepts and ways that will help us further enhance how we serve customers, but we don’t have any further details to share on these patents at this time.”

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