Workplace Monitoring: Data collection practices and emerging risks for low wage workers in India
Workers are disadvantaged by the relative ease with which employers can combine data from several sources.
Digital technologies have made workplace monitoring more comprehensive and widespread. Technological advances like big data analytics, communication capture, mobile devices, and biometrics allow employers to monitor workers well after they have left the workplace. The COVID19 pandemic has forced many white collar workers to work from home, while essential workers are forced to continue working in high risk conditions. New forms of monitoring have been introduced and justified under this new relaity. It has also legitimised the collection of certain health related information under the guise of public health concerns.
This paper analyses data protection issues related to low-income workers in India. It draws on expert interviews and focuses on the experiences of gig workers and garment factory workers in India. Data protection and surveillance issues for low-wage workers is an emerging area of research and this paper serves as a starting point for discussion by identifying key issues for future research and policy attention.