What's lurking behind the shopping!

Corporations know no bounds when it comes to intruding into people's personal lives, both in relation to the businesses they run and with regard to their employees.Welcome to 1984 at Walmart - going by this report on truthdig about a patent Walmart has registered:"Just the latest corporation to spark privacy concerns over worker surveillance efforts, Walmart has patented audio technology that would allow the retail giant to eavesdrop on conversations among employees and between clerks and shoppers, to measure employee performance.According to the patent document filed with the U.S. government, Walmart is calling the invention “listening to the frontend.” The patent reads, in part:

"Many different types of sounds result from people in a shopping facility. For example, guests of the shopping facility may talk amongst each other or with employees of the shopping facility. Additionally, guests and employee movements and activities can generate additional sounds. A need exists for ways to capture the sounds resulting from the people in the shopping facility and determine performance of employees based on those sounds."In addition to capturing conversations, according to the patent, Walmart’s spy system could also track the length of lines at the checkout counter, how many items are scanned, and the number of bags employees use. Although the technology could, for example, determine if a line is too long and more cashier lanes need to open, Ifeoma Ajunwa, an assistant professor at Cornell University’s Industrial and Labor Relations School, told BuzzFeed News, “There’s a lot of potential for misuse.”

 “There’s potential for mission creep where it’s more like, ‘as a cashier you’re too friendly, you’re talking too much, and therefore not moving people along, so let’s penalize you,'” Ajunwa explained. “Even though the technology is presented as interested in one thing, the fact that it has the potential for both things to be captured is of concern.”