iHub seminar

2023-11-14 15:30 - 17:00 E.19.03

Platform workers, data rights and forms of resistance: Cases against Uber and Ola at the Amsterdam District Court

The development and use of technologies have exacerbated many forms of injustices that constitute and proliferate in platform and racial capitalism. In the context of the platform economy, an emergence of issues related to data, algorithmic management and pervasive workplace surveillance. New forms of granular managerial control, atomised workplaces, challenges in organising, opacity of automated and algorithmic decision-making systems, and lack of redress mechanisms have emerged. As many have oft commented, the platform economy is a testbed for other forms of workplace surveillance.

Platform workers globally have been actively challenging and resisting their conditions on the ground in a myriad of ways. In Europe, several platform workers from the U.K. and other European countries, represented by the App Drivers Courier Union (ADCU) and Worker Info Exchange, exercised their data rights (afforded by the EU General Data Protection Regulation) with regards to profiling, automated decision-making, and transparency and fairness, of Uber and Ola’s algorithmic management systems. In this talk, I will critically discuss some key components of the judgments issued in the first instance at the Amsterdam District Court and in the second instance in the Court of Appeal. While the focus of the talk will critically reflect on the rulings, it will also highlight and contextualise the (limited) role of law in relation to effecting transformative and structural change.

The talk is joined by Jef Ausloos, Assistant Professor at the University of Amsterdam, whose research is focused on the GDPR, data rights and transparency of digital infrastructures.

Bio: Jill Toh is a PhD researcher at the University of Amsterdam, Institute for Information Law. She is also the co-founder of Racism and Technology Center, a non-profit based in the Netherlands. Jef Ausloos is an Assistant Professor at the University of Amsterdam, Institute for Information Law.