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Amazon Patents Worker-Tracking Wristband

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) -- We all know there's plenty of micromanaging in the work-place. But, how would you feel if your company not only tracked your every step but guided your every move?

That's the concept behind these tracking wristbands, just patented by Amazon.

The company says the device, which collects data on inventory, would improve the process for fulfillment associates.

"I can see the appeal of knowing how work is getting done and how quickly," said Lisa Imperiale of Philadelphia.

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Using ultrasonic pulses, the wristband would track worker's hands, using vibrations to alert them to mistakes, such as putting an item in the wrong bin.

"No. I couldn't do that!" said Ephraim Hicks of Philly.

Security experts also have concerns, citing the kind of personal information a wearable could collect, even unintentionally.

Alan Epstein, a Philadelphia employment attorney, says Amazon has the right to track employee productivity within their own factories, but it would need to stop there. He also advises against the vibration feature.

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"One person may not think twice, while another could be very sensitive to it, causing great emotional distress, which may be accorded with successful litigation in the courts," said Epstein.

In a statement, Amazon called the speculation around the patent "misguided" and said the device would simply move existing equipment to associates wrists, freeing up their hands from scanners and their eyes from computer screens.


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