Recovering workers’ data to negotiate and monitor collective agreements in the platform economy



GDPoweR is a collaborative research project on industrial relations in the platform economy involving seven research and social partner organizations from five EU countries (Austria, Belgium, France, Poland, Spain). It centers on two sectors, ride-hailing and food delivery and explores three areas:

  1. The collection and use of worker data by digital labour platforms and its impact on worker well-being and their inclination to engage in collective actions.

  2. Strategies employed by social partners to negotiate and implement collective and company-level agreements in the platform economy. These agreements cover aspects like pay, working conditions, and the collection and use of worker data.

  3. The implementation, monitoring and enforcement of negotiated agreements.


The overarching project goal is to support the development of industrial relations in the platform economy. To this end, GDPoweR pursues the following objectives:

  1. Analyse the strategies of platform workers, activists, trade unionists and employer groups for negotiating workers’ pay and working conditions, including the collection and use of personal data, and for monitoring and enforcing negotiated agreements.

  2. Advance and apply a novel method of data collection using data access and portability rights based on a citizen-science approach to audit the personal data collection and digital monitoring practices of platforms.

  3. Assess the implementation of and/or challenges to collective bargaining agreements in the location-based platform economy.

  4. Strengthen industrial relations and social partnership in platform economy in Europe by raising awareness about companies' data collection practices, empowering workers to recover their data and fostering exchanges between workers and activists.

  5. Inform policy making and research on industrial relations in the platform economy by disseminating the project findings and research methods.


GDPoweR builds on a methodology developed and pioneered by Hestia.Ai in which worker data is recovered by workers through GDPR requests and subsequently donated to researchers for joint analysis and interpretation.

To implement this method, we will organise in each participating country data recovery workshops informing workers how to recover their data, sense-making workshops in which researchers jointly with workers try to understand the recovered data and focus groups to discuss with workers how they feel about the collection of their data. Where applicable, the data recovered by workers will also be used to monitor compliance with negotiated agreements.

Information on strategies to negotiate and enforce agreements will be collected through desk research and focus groups with activists and social partner representatives. The exchange of experiences and expertise between activists and social partner representatives will be supported through a one-day transnational mutual learning event.


The project deliverables encompass a transnational mutual learning event, five country reports, one comparative report, two academic manuscripts, and a final conference.

The European Centre for Social Welfare Policy and Research supports the Sustainable Development Goals

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