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Aurialie Jublin

Worker Surveillance and Class Power - « Law and Political Economy - 0 views

  • As a first example, consider how workplace monitoring generates data that companies can use to automate the very tasks workers are being paid to perform. When Uber drivers carry passengers from one location to another, or simply cruise around town waiting for fares, Uber gathers extensive data on routes, driving speed, and driver behavior. That data may prove useful in developing the many algorithms required for autonomous vehicles—for example by illuminating how a reasonable driver would respond to particular traffic or road conditions.
  • with GPS data from millions of trips across town, Uber may be able to predict the best path from point A to point B fairly well, accounting not just for map distance, but also for current traffic, weather, the time of day, etc. In other words, its algorithms can replicate drivers’ subtle, local knowledge. If that knowledge was once relatively rare, then Uber’s algorithms may enable it to push down wages and erode working conditions.
  • By managing drivers’ expectations, the company may be able to maintain a high supply of drivers on the road waiting for fares. The net effect may be to lower wages, since the company only pays drivers when they are ferrying passengers.
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  • Finally, new monitoring technologies can help firms to shunt workers outside of their legal boundaries through independent contracting, subcontracting, and franchising. Various economic theories suggest that firms tend to bring workers in-house as employees rather than contracting for their services—and therefore tend to accept the legal obligations and financial costs that go along with using employees rather than contractors—when they lack reliable information about workers’ proclivities, or where their work performance is difficult to monitor.
  • This suggests, in my mind, a strategy of worker empowerment and deliberative governance rather than command-and-control regulation. At the firm or workplace level, new forms of unionization and collective bargaining could address the everyday invasions of privacy or erosions of autonomy that arise through technological monitoring. Workers might block new monitoring tools that they feel are unduly intrusive. Or they might accept more extensive monitoring in exchange for greater pay or more reasonable hours.
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    "Companies around the world are dreaming up a new generation of technologies designed to monitor their workers-from Amazon's new employee wristbands, to Uber's recording whether its drivers are holding their phones rather than mounting them, to "Worksmart," a new productivity tool that takes photos of workers every ten minutes via their webcams. Technologies like these can erode workplace privacy and encourage discrimination. Without disregarding the importance of those effects, I want to focus in this post on how employers can use new monitoring technologies to drive down wages or otherwise disempower workers as a class. I'll use examples from Uber, not because Uber is exceptional in this regard - it most certainly is not - but rather because it is exemplary."
Aurialie Jublin

Rage contre la machine | Classe éco | Francetv info - 0 views

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    Résumé IA : Pourquoi le niveau de vie baisse-t-il ? La faute à la crise ? Non, son origine lui est antérieure estime Alexandre Delaigue. La stagnation de la démocratisation scolaire alors que la technologie nécessite toujours une meilleure formation explique l'accroissement des écarts de rémunération. La diminution de la fiscalité des plus hauts revenus sans redistribution est l'autre explication. Mais surtout, la technologie est venu bouleverser le rapport au travail en permettant une surveillance inédite des individus, permettant de moins avoir à motiver les salariés. Pour Erik Brynjolfsson et Andrew McAfee, l'évolution des technologies joue aussi un rôle en rendant les compétences plus rapidement obsolètes, en concentrant les gains sur un petit nombre de personnes et en biaisant les gains au bénéfice des détenteurs du capital des entreprises. Demain, l'automatisation pourrait accroître ce phénomène en automatisant des tâches jusqu'à présent qualifiées et donc continuer à diminuer l'apport éducatif. "Si ces tendances se confirment, il sera bien difficile de compter sur l'éducation et la formation pour assurer le revenu du plus grand nombre. Il ne restera que la fiscalité, en particulier la fiscalité du capital, et un niveau de redistribution plus élevé qu'aujourd'hui, par exemple sous la forme d'une allocation universelle. En tout cas, il serait particulièrement hasardeux d'espérer que la sortie de crise viendra rétablir la situation pour les salariés", conclut Alexandre Delaigue.
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