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Could data harm your job chances?

Could data harm your job chances?

The WEF published today a blog post written by UNI on how data mined on you could effect your job opportunities in the future. UNI proposes key solutions needed for a sustainable future

Workers across the world – with the exception of those in the EU, who will soon benefit from the provisions in the upcoming General Data Protection Regulation – have no control over the mountains of data their employers collect on them. Nor do workers know what data employers are actually using to hire, fire or discipline them. Are your health file, social media connections, union membership, financial history or political beliefs determining factors in your employment prospects?

UNI addressing regulatory gaps

To address these issues, combat insecurity and propose sustainable ways forward, UNI Global Union has issued the “Top 10 principles for workers’ data privacy and protection”.

One key principle is that workers must have the right to access data collected on them, including the right to have data corrected, blocked or erased. This data should also be portable – a demand especially important for platform workers, who have hundreds-of-hours of equity in their ratings. 

Data collection and artificial intelligence are the next frontier for the labour movement

Philip Jennings, UNI Global Union

Another critical principle is the “right of explanation”, meaning that workers must be able to see what data employers are collecting and how it is used to inform key management decisions. Without this right, there will be inadequate checks and balances on management decisions, and no possibility to check whether they are using data in ethical, non-discriminatory ways.

UNI also gives guidelines for biometric data, data transparency, on the use of location tracking through so-called wearables, and the set-up of company-wide data governance committees.

UNI General Secretary Philip Jennings comments: “Data collection and artificial intelligence are the next frontier for the labour movement. The new generation of tech-savvy union members and leaders are not willing to let inhuman algorithms set the new rules. Just as unions established wage, hour, and safety standards during the Industrial Revolution, it is urgent that we set new benchmarks for the Digital Revolution.”