The gig workers are fighting back against the algorithms, but they haven't had the opportunity to gain an audience with the company's leadership or generate enough momentum to fight against anti-regulation strategies. "The gig economy is not a community that is formed in a physical space," says Veena Dubal, law professor at University of California Hastings College of the Law and an advocate for US gig workers.
Uber sues drivers for access to personal data
A class-action lawsuit filed by drivers from London, Birmingham, Nottingham and Glasgow claims that Uber is not providing them with complete access to their personal information. Drivers claim that they are being penalized for data related to late arrivals, cancellations, and attitudes, among other things. They argue that this violates European Union's GDPR by not sharing this information. The lawsuit will likely lead to additional changes in the way gig-economy workers are treated by algorithms.
A breach in Uber's database exposed the names and addresses of nearly 50 million customers and drivers. Uber paid hackers $100,000 to delete the information but failed to notify drivers until nearly a year later. In the meantime, the hackers were able to access personal data for nearly 11,000 drivers in Washington. As a result, Uber waited years before warning drivers and the states. In the meantime, lawsuits have been filed by drivers, passengers, and the government.
Driver's Seat Cooperative collects data
The Driver's Seat Cooperative is a new organization based in Los Angeles, Portland, and Denver. The cooperative keeps an independent record of earnings and sells this data to cities. The co-op hopes to eventually open membership to drivers everywhere. As part of its mission to provide drivers with better work conditions and pay, the cooperative collects data to make their journeys safer and more efficient.
Uber uses 'factual indicators' to match drivers with riders
Using 'factual indicators' to match drivers and passengers can help reduce ride cancellations. The app is designed to make finding a ride easier for new drivers, but most drivers found the decision-making process too complex, especially without enough data. Uber's new feature will help drivers with this problem, but the company's business model will also affect this decision. Drivers can turn down a ride only if it takes more than 15 seconds and does not come close to their location.
For the safety of riders, drivers should always be visible to other drivers. Using flashing lights and indicators is important. Drivers can be easily identified and observed from a distance. They should also wear bright clothing and keep their cars parked in well-lit areas. Uber drivers should also wear a reflective shirt to match their customers with a ride. In addition, Uber drivers should be courteous and show the app's logo in a prominent location.
Google Chrome extension helps gig workers band together
A new Google Chrome extension is helping gig workers band together against the algorithms, and this one is called FLoC Blocker. FLoC is a tracking technique that replaces third-party cookies, allowing advertisers to target ads based on the browsing behavior of cohorts. This technique is especially prevalent in ride-sharing services like Uber, where workers are given scripts and rules to follow. These scripts make the work experience inconsistent and often lead to slower workers.