Digit Debates: Algorithmic workplace surveillance

17 March 2021



Workplace surveillance is an “old” issue but the Covid crisis has given it renewed importance and relevance.  Video surveillance, computers and other digital technologies are now routinely used in many places to monitor what workers are doing and to control their behaviour. With artificial intelligence, biometrics and facial recognition, surveillance could soon be expanded to measure and analyse emotions and health.

In this talk, Aida will focus on worker surveillance empowered by data driven technologies, worker perception across Europe and associated risks.  Also, she will talk about the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) as a tool to address surveillance and the shortcomings of this European Regulation as far as the employment context is concerned. Finally she will describe the European regulatory initiatives on artificial intelligence and data and how they can be used (or not) to better protect workers.


Aida Ponce Del Castillo holds a PhD in Law ( ‘Doctor Europaeus’) and a Master’s degree in Bioethics. Aida is a senior researcher at the Brussels based Foresight Unit of the European Trade Union Institute (ETUI). Her research focuses on the legal, social and regulatory issues of emerging technologies. Additionally, she is in charge of conducting foresight projects at ETUI. She is a member of the Working Party on Bio-, Nano- and Converging Technologies (BNCT) at the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).

Related reading

MEPs need to listen to more voices on artificial intelligence’, Social Europe

Labour in the age of AI: why regulation is needed to protect workers’, Foresight Brief, ETUI

Artificial intelligence: a game changer for the world of work’, Foresight Brief, ETUI