ROME — Spanish delivery start-up Glovo said on Wednesday it is examining its options, including a possible appeal, after Italy’s data protection authority ordered Glovo’s delivery firm Foodinho to change the computer algorithms used to manage staff.
Trade unions say management algorithms on international platforms are eroding gig workers’ wages and rights, just as lockdowns to contain the COVID-19 pandemic have increased demand for casual workers such as delivery drivers.
The Italian decision comes as a debate on how to regulate workers’ rights in the gig economy unfolds around the world. The European Commission has opened a public consultation on potential EU-wide rules.
The Italian regulator had said changes were needed at Foodinho to avoid discrimination, after finding breaches of privacy and labor laws.
It also ordered Foodinho to pay a 2.6 million euro ($3.1 million) fine after an investigation of its management of its 19,000 riders in Italy, as well as other online delivery platforms.
“We are committed to maintaining the privacy and trust of our couriers and we use a range of measures to ensure that the results of our processes are fair and that all personal data is safe and secure,” Glovo said in an emailed statement.
It added that the group took “data protection regulations very seriously and will improve any of our processes that are considered to not be fair or equitable.”
The watchdog gave Foodinho 150 days to make the required changes, and said Spain’s data authority would look into Glovo’s international digital platform. ($1 = 0.8458 euros) (Reporting by Elvira Pollina; Writing by Giulia Segreti; Editing by Nick Macfie)