Advances in digital technology are celebrated for delivering better security and greater efficiency in the workplace. At the same time, they have enabled more intrusive monitoring and control of workers according to algorithmic decision-making.
In the spirit of identifying and preventing new dangers to fundamental rights and values in the digital age, on 30 April 2019 we host our next #DebatingEthics Conversation, dedicated to the digitalisation of work. With our expert speakers Ursula Huws, Barbara Prainsack and Aiha Nguyen we will discuss topics such as:
- Monitoring and ‘optimisation’: the ways in which workers are increasingly subject to intrusive surveillance, as well as techniques aimed at maximising the efficiency of their behaviour. This is reported, for example, in eCommerce warehouses, drivers in ride hailing services and even street cleaners.
- Criticism of the culture in the tech sector, including prejudice and secrecy in Silicon Valley and the excessive working hours demanded of employees in China’s tech hubs.
- The intense extraction of human labour, personal data and natural resources which underpins the gadgets, networks and software which make up the digital economy, and the impact of digital externalities on people and on the environment, from the working conditions of cobalt miners to human moderators required to sift through disturbing content as a full-time job.
How do trends like these relate to labour rights, privacy and data protection principles? What broader questions of social justice and human dignity do they raise? What role do we want work to play in our lives and in society? The constant evolution of technology requires us to continuously reassess the purposes for which we use it.
We look forward to addressing these essential questions in our next #DebatingEthics Conversation! You can follow the recording liveon 30 April 2019 at 17:00 (CEST) and submit your questions to the speakers. Stay tuned for updates by following us on Twitter, LinkedIn or the EDPS website.