Apple Responds to Call Center Worker Complaints About Plans to Monitor Them With Cameras at Home

Workers used to support Apple's call centers around the world have complained about plans to install cameras to monitor them when working from home, NBC News reports.

2019 imac home
Employees of Teleperformance in Colombia, a major call center company used by Apple, have raised concerns about lengthy new contracts that allow them to be monitored by AI-powered cameras installed in their homes, voice analytics, and storage of data about workers' family members, including children. One worker based in Bogota, who works on the Apple account, told NBC News:

The contract allows constant monitoring of what we are doing, but also our family. I think it's really bad. We don't work in an office. I work in my bedroom. I don't want to have a camera in my bedroom.

The contract asked workers to agree to video cameras being installed in their home or on their computers, angled toward their workspace, to record and monitor them in real-time. It also included the requirement for consent to be monitored using AI-powered video analysis tools that can identify restricted objects around the workspace, such as cellphones.

In addition, it asked workers to agree to the sharing of data and images relating to any children they have under the age of 18 who may be picked up by video and audio monitoring tools, give biometric data, including fingerprints, and even take polygraph tests.

According to The Guardian, Teleperformance's software scans for video breaches of work rules and sends this to managers. Workers have to click "break mode" in the software to leave their desks and offer an explanation for doing so. Workers also risk being marked as "idle" if they do not use their mouse or keyboard for a certain amount of time.

Workers were reportedly told by their supervisors that if they refused to sign the new contract, they would be moved off of the Apple account.

Outside Colombia, Teleperformance uses software called TP Cloud Campus, which allows staff to work remotely in more than 19 markets, but also includes "AI to monitor clean desk policy and fraud" by analyzing camera feeds. Teleperformance has enabled 240,000 of around 380,000 employees to work from home around the world, including in India, Mexico, and the Philippines, via the TP Cloud Campus software.

Teleperformance employees in Albania, including those who work on Apple's UK account, complained to the country's Information and Data Protection Commissioner about proposals to introduce video monitoring in their homes, which resulted in Teleperformance being barred from using cameras to monitor staff working from home in that country.

A Teleperformance spokesperson told NBC News that the new contracts obtain consent for a range of scenarios to comply with data privacy laws as it develops and optimizes tools for long-term working from home for employees and clients, improving the "Teleperformance Colombia experience for both our employees and our customers, with privacy and respect as key factors in everything we do."

Workers said that management told them that it was clients who requested the additional monitoring to improve security and prevent data breaches while working from home, but the move to implement monitoring technology in employees' homes does not appear to have come from Apple. Amazon and Uber are also among Teleperformance's clients.

A spokesperson for Apple, Nick Leahy, said that the company "prohibits the use of video or photographic monitoring by our suppliers and have confirmed Teleperformance does not use video monitoring for any of their teams working with Apple." Apple said that it audited Teleperformance in Colombia this year and did not find any "core violations of our strict standards," adding "We investigate all claims and will continue to ensure everyone across our supply chain is treated with dignity and respect."

Top Rated Comments

scottct1 Avatar
20 months ago
Man in one week Apple has gone from the kings of privacy to the ultimate creepers.
Score: 184 Votes (Like | Disagree)
HappySponge Avatar
20 months ago
Look give your WFH employees their goals/metrics/criteria for success/whatever corporate jargon you like to speak, and if the people are hitting those goals that is all that matters. if I can fold laundry and solve a problem on the phone at the same time who cares?
Score: 109 Votes (Like | Disagree)
nouvejetzt Avatar
20 months ago
Apple, the biggest plot twist of privacy of the century LOL
Score: 88 Votes (Like | Disagree)
AppleFan91 Avatar
20 months ago

Man in one week Apple has gone from the kings of privacy to the ultimate creepers.

Apple, the biggest plot twist of privacy of the century LOL

I hope Apple goes out of business VERY SOON! Disgusting!

They never were the kings of privacy. Apple has been planning to be creeps for a decade. iCloud was introduced in 2011, since the business is well established now and Apple has 2 Trillion dollars, Apple decided to invade our privacy. It's all part of a game and a set up. It did not happen overnight.

What the hell is going on with Apple lately? We need a giant asterisk any time they mention "privacy" from now on.

It only took a few days. King Apple turned into Clown Apple. Seriously….
Read. The. Article.

“A spokesperson for Apple, Nick Leahy, said that the company "prohibits the use of video or photographic monitoring by our suppliers and have confirmed Teleperformance does not use video monitoring for any of their teams working with Apple."
Score: 65 Votes (Like | Disagree)
scottrngr Avatar
20 months ago
Hire call center workers in the US, you cheap ba$tard$.
Score: 58 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Scotticus Avatar
20 months ago
What the hell is going on with Apple lately? We need a giant asterisk any time they mention "privacy" from now on.
Score: 43 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Popular Stories

iOS 16

iOS 16.3 Now Available for Your iPhone With These 4 New Features

Friday February 3, 2023 1:13 pm PST by
Apple released iOS 16.3 in late January following nearly six weeks of beta testing. The software update is available for the iPhone 8 and newer, and while it is a relatively minor update, it still includes a handful of new features, changes, and bug fixes. Below, we've recapped new features in iOS 16.3, including support for physical security keys as a two-factor authentication option for...
magsafe duo perspective feature

Apple Releases New MagSafe Duo Firmware

Tuesday February 7, 2023 12:41 pm PST by
Apple today released updated firmware for the MagSafe Duo charger that is designed to work with the Apple Watch and MagSafe-compatible iPhone models. The new firmware is version 10M3063, but in the settings app, you'll see a 256.1067.0 version number, up from 186.0.0.0. The MagSafe Duo was first released in 2020 alongside the iPhone 12 models, and it has not had a firmware update before....
oneplus 11 3

Camera Comparison: Apple's iPhone 14 Pro Max vs. OnePlus 11 5G

Tuesday February 7, 2023 10:11 am PST by
Chinese smartphone company OnePlus today announced the official debut of the OnePlus 11 5G, which is the company's latest flagship smartphone. The device was already announced in China, but today marks the global launch so we thought we'd compare the OnePlus 11 5G to the iPhone 14 Pro Max to see how the camera measures up. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. Apple's...
HomePod 2 White and Midnight Feature Purple Orange

Apple Releases tvOS 16.3.1 and HomePod 16.3.1 Software Updates

Monday February 6, 2023 10:13 am PST by
Apple today released new tvOS 16.3.1 and HomePod 16.3.1 software updates, with the software coming two weeks after the tvOS 16.3 and HomePod 16.3 updates were released. According to Apple's release notes for HomePod software 16.3.1, the update includes general performance and stability improvements. Notes for tvOS 16.3.1 are unavailable as of yet, but are probably similar to the HomePod...
iPhone 15 Pro Blue Feature

iPhone 15 Pro 'Buttonless Design' Rumors: Everything We Know

Monday February 6, 2023 7:44 am PST by
The iPhone 15 Pro models will feature a "buttonless design" thanks to additional Taptic Engines, according to multiple corroborated reports, so what do we know about the change so far? Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo was first to report that the volume and power buttons on this year's two high-end iPhone models will adopt a solid-state design, similar to the iPhone 7's home button, replacing a...
iPhone 14 Pro Purple Side Perspective Feature Purple

Gurman: Apple Considering New High-End iPhone Alongside Pro and Pro Max

Sunday February 5, 2023 6:07 am PST by
Apple has discussed selling a new top-of-the-line iPhone alongside the Pro and Pro Max models in 2024 at the earliest, according to Bloomberg's Mark Gurman. Based on this timeframe, the device would be part of the iPhone 16 lineup or later. In a September 2022 edition of his weekly "Power On" newsletter, Gurman said there was "potential" for an iPhone 15 Ultra to replace the iPhone 15 Pro...
iphone ultra concept daehnert

'iPhone Ultra' Concept Envisions Apple's Rumored Future Top-Tier Smartphone

Tuesday February 7, 2023 5:38 am PST by
Apple has reportedly considered releasing a new top-of-the-line iPhone alongside future Pro and Pro Max models, tentatively referred to as "iPhone Ultra," and one designer has taken it upon himself to envision what such a device could potentially look like. German industrial designer Jonas Daehnert came up with this impressive-looking concept (pictured) by marrying design elements of the...
Apple iPad 10th gen Magic Keyboard Folio Apple Pencil Feature Blue

Apple Could Break an iPad Tradition This Year

Wednesday February 8, 2023 3:13 am PST by
Apple usually releases a new entry-level iPad every year, but the current lineup and rumors for 2023 may indicate that this will be the first year when the company breaks this convention. When Apple introduced the 10th-generation iPad last year, it added the device to the lineup above the ninth-generation model from 2021. As a result, Apple currently sells both the ninth- and 10th-generation ...