Amazon accused of spying on employees by monitoring dozens of closed social media groups

Amazon has been accused of spying on dozens of its employees’ private and public social media groups to keep tabs on who plans to strike.

Amazon’s corporate employees are reportedly using social media monitoring tools to track groups used by its Flex delivery drivers in the UK, US and Spain, according to Vice.

The online giant is using the tool to monitor both public and closed groups on sites like Facebook and Reddit, providing it with regular reports on issues being discussed by its employees and tracking planned strike or protest action against Amazon.

One such report, seen by Motherboard, called “social media monitoring” listed over 40 closed Facebook groups run by Amazon Flex Drivers, alongside numerous open Flex driver Reddit pages.

Amazon also told those accessing the reports that they were classified, ordering them to not share without proper authentication.

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“Most of the Post/Comment screenshots within the site are from closed Facebook groups,” a login page included in the files read.

“It will have a detrimental effect if it falls within the reach of any of our Delivery partners. DO NOT SHARE without proper authentication.”

It is understood that posts within these groups are monitored by “social listening teams”, who are required to “capture” posts, investigate them then add them to the reports.

While issues raised by Flex drivers, who are independently contracted Amazon delivery drivers, about their day to day operations are monitored, Amazon is also tracking complaints made about the company.

Amazon is also tracking instances where workers are criticising the company, including references to “poor working conditions”, “strikes/protests” and “Amazon taking away their tips”.

It comes as both Amazon delivery drivers and warehouse workers have become more vocal about working conditions at the company, leading to numerous strikes throughout the year.

Amazon has gained a reputation of taking a hard stance on employees who are vocal critics, and has sacked at least five workers who have publicly criticised it.

It is understood that Amazon requires all employees to gain approval from management before speaking about the company’s internal policies publicly.

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