Because they can? –
Oct 2, 2020 – Amazon’s human resources team is tracking opioid usage among the American public as part of a project which involves monitoring internal and external threats to Amazon’s employees and business, according to an internal document obtained by Motherboard.
The document details an Amazon data visualization project, known as “SPOC,” (geoSPatial Operating Console), run by Amazon’s corporate human resource team, which monitors many data points, such as weather, crime rate, and the local political environment, and inputs this data into a mapping system to keeps tabs on threats to the company. … The project taken as a whole seems from the outside to be an attempt for Amazon—a gigantic logistics company that operates all over the country—to understand as much as possible about every part of the United States.
An Amazon spokesperson would not offer any specific information about why Amazon monitors opioid use, saying it tracks any number of factors that could be impacting employees and workers in order to keep them safe, but some drug experts told Motherboard that the revelation that Amazon tracked opioid use was a cause for alarm to its workers and customers.
“This is news to me, and it’s disturbing,” said Shannon Monnat, a sociology professor at Syracuse University who does research on opioid use. “I asked around to other drug experts I know, and none of them knew this was happening. I am a bit shocked but shouldn’t be. Corporations increasingly have access to a litany of data and know more about us than anyone else.”