The National Commission for Informatics and Liberties (CNIL), France’s data protection agency, has imposed a €32 million fine on Amazon France Logistique (AFL) for establishing an “excessively intrusive” system to monitor activity and employee performance, as reported by the French regulator.

The fine imposed on the company that manages Amazon’s department stores in France, which has announced that it reserves the right to appeal the decision, represents almost 3% of the turnover of Amazon France Logistique, which in 2021 had a turnover of 1,135 million of euros.

In a statement, the CNIL states that, as part of its activities, each AFL warehouse employee has a scanner to document in real time the performance of certain tasks assigned to him and whose data is stored and used to calculate indicators on the quality, productivity and periods of inactivity of each employee.

After the investigations carried out and the complaints collected from workers, the French regulator considered that the system for monitoring employee activity and performance was excessive.

As such, it considers it illegal to establish a system that measures work interruptions with such precision, which could require employees to justify each interruption, in addition to describing the system of measuring the speed of scanning of articles as excessive.

More generally, the CNIL considered it excessive to retain all the data collected by the system, as well as the resulting statistical indicators, on all employees and temporary workers, for a period of 31 days.

In response to the French authority’s decision, an Amazon spokesperson expressed “total disagreement” with the CNIL’s conclusions, which are “objectively incorrect.”

“We reserve the right to file an appeal,” he said, adding that warehouse management systems are standard in the industry and are necessary to ensure the safety, quality and efficiency of operations and to track inventory storage. and processing packages on time and in line with customer expectations.

In this sense, the multinational has recalled that, as part of the changes proposed to the CNIL, it will extend the activation threshold of the inactivity time indicator from 10 minutes to 30 minutes.