Digital workers' Consent and Resentment of Employee Monitoring
IV International Meeting of Sociology (ISSOW), APSIOT, 24-25 May 2021: Work, (In)equalities and Social Relations in the Digital Economy
Present-day surveillance is characterized by communicative wealth in leisure and work, where visibility is relentless (Ganesh, 2006). Recent scandals concerning mass surveillance, have brought attention to Governmental, political and consumer surveillance, perhaps shadowing the public and academic interest on “workplace surveillance” or “employee monitoring” (Ball, 2010). It is assumed that “employee monitoring” is an expected and ordinary feature of work settings even though it might progress to enable even more means of surveillance (Rosenblat, Kneese, and boyd, 2014). Furthermore, the average citizen appears to continue relatively tolerant towards digital surveillance in leisure, and contribute to its naturalization, if it means greater usability of technology (Best, 2010). But it can be argued that the conceptualization and measurement of resentment and resistance remains underdeveloped within surveillance studies (Martin, van Brakel and Bernhard, 2009). Furthermore, are there contractions in consent or resent between the realms of work and leisure? Following Lyon (2001), the present study seeks to further understand whether and how workers consent to or resent digital surveillance in their workplaces and daily lives. Can we identify different types of consent or resentment, one for workers of digitalized workplaces and another for digitalized places of consumption and leisure? To address these issues, we applied an online survey to Portuguese workers. We also address worker’s attitudes towards what they consider uncomfortable, permissible or what is considered an employer violation. What are the privacy concerns that Portuguese workers express about the data that is collected on them? Do they consider future implications of data collection such as future job prospects? This study is exploratory in nature and aims to assess possible measuring procedures to understand what is happening in digitalized workplaces. It, therefore, intends to contribute conceptually, methodologically and empirically to fulfil gaps on the study of contemporary workplace surveillance that merit further consideration.
Consent,Digital labor,Surveillance and Workplace