MEP appoints trade union for influence on data usage of tech companies

May

23

2018

The Dutch MEP Paul Tang has set up a trade union with which he wants to ensure that users such as Facebook and Google get more insight and influence in what these companies do with our data.

The PvdA politician sees us as ‘data workers’, because we feed companies like Facebook and Google with our data, according to NRC . From that context he finds it reasonable to ask for better terms of employment. For example, he asks himself why it is not possible to have a timeline in Facebook without ads and he wants insight into how Google arranges the order of the search results.

The trade union , called Datavakbond, is necessary according to Tang because supervisors, such as the Dutch Data Protection Authority, are not sufficient. “That organization can only comply with the law, and what we want is to put new demands on the table, and by collecting a lot of people we can become an obstacle and ultimately a discussion partner for Google and Facebook.”

The new trade union hopes to recruit many volunteers and members; registration is free for them for now. The Datavakbond also wants to help affected members, whose privacy has been violated, and do something about raising awareness among consumers, for example through demonstrations. Tang may want his trade union members to call collectively to deliver data to tech companies, in order to increase the pressure.

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