Amazon aims to market Panorama boxes to companies in order to detect whether staff are following safety precautions during the pandemic, reports state last December 3, Thursday. Originally, the Amazon Web Services (AWS) Panorama automates inspection tasks such as identifying product and manufacturing defects, as well as tracking barcode movement. However, Amazon mentioned that it can also be applied to people, thus being able to monitor if people within the vicinity are wearing face masks and socially distancing while working. The company said that a workplace can “get notified immediately about any potential issues or unsafe situations so you can take pre-emptive action.”

The Trades Union Congress (TUC) policy officer Mary Towers said, “The announcement of this new monitoring tool is another example of how this revolution at work is picking up pace.” However, she warns about its possible negative impact on employees. She added that the technology may harm the workers’ well-being, data privacy and protection, and rights against discrimination. An Amazon spokeswoman, however, explains that the AWS Panorama is designed to improve workplace safety and operations. She assures that it does not contain facial recognition capabilities.