Digital technology in the workplace is often associated with increasing precariousness of work and worsening working conditions. This is perhaps most visible in the platform economy, where online platforms control in detail how workers carry out their tasks, while the latter often lack access to social protection and collective bargaining.
And yet, this is part of a broader trend. Especially during the Covid-19 pandemic, digital technologies and algorithmic management are being deployed across the workforce, risking to further limit worker autonomy. Many of these issues can and should be addressed by applying, tweaking and flexibly interpreting existing labour, social security and data protection rules. But policymakers should also look beyond regulation alone: could they use public platforms to provide more tailored and effective public services to those citizens who need it?