Amazon lifts new ban on phones in warehouses ‘until further notice’

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Amazon is losing control of its activities as security concerns grow. An online retailer has confirmed to Bloomberg that he will give up the rejuvenated effort to ban personal phones in warehouses. Staff were told on December 17 that they could keep their phones on hand “until further notice”.

The company has banned phones in warehouses for years, but has eased its approach as the COVID-19 pandemic hits. The ban was due to continue in January 2022.

Although Amazon did not explain the decision, it comes shortly after a tornado hit a warehouse in Edwardsville, Illinois, killing six people. It also monitors the increase in COVID-19 cases. Warehouse employees demanded access to their phones both for security warnings and to stay in touch in an emergency. The re-introduced ban would seem completely deaf, especially in light of the incident in which a the dispatcher pressed the driver continue to deliver packages as the tornado ravaged the Edwardsville area.

Companies are allowed to ban the use of the phone on the watch, whether to improve security or prevent staff from leaking sensitive information. That attitude is changing as smartphones are becoming an important part of everyday life, but so is the combination of Amazon poor security reputation with recent incidents it may leave the company little room to reintroduce the ban – not without significant public rejection.

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