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Data, profiles and algorithms: how digital platforms influence reality

May 22 @ 6:00 pm CEST

The Wrocław Branch of the Polish Sociological Society and the Institute of Sociology of the University of Wrocław, in cooperation with the Wrocław Institute of Culture, has organised another meeting as part of the SocioPerception series (vol. 41). The meeting, entitled “SocjoPercepcja vol. 41 | Dane, profile i algorytmy: w jaki sposób platformy cyfrowe wpływają na rzeczywistość (Data, profiles and algorithms: how digital platforms influence reality)”, will take place on 22 May (Wednesday) at 6 p.m. at Klubokawiarnia Recepcja, 46 Ruska Street in Wrocław (Poland).

Digitisation permeates many aspects of everyday life, influencing social and professional life. It creates conditions for the realisation of business models that have no spatial or temporal limits. This leads to ignoring workers’ rights, employing various anti-union strategies and limiting opportunities to improve working conditions. This poses a serious challenge to the protection of individual and collective workers’ rights and employment relations. It also reveals the difficulties in exercising effective control over these companies by community countries and the European Union itself.

Digital platforms and technology companies are challenging national and EU policy-makers and citizens on issues such as the practice of democracy, widening social and economic inequalities, and declining trust in public institutions. In particular, GAFAM (Google, Amazon, Facebook, Apple and Microsoft) / Big Tech and digital work platforms (Uber, Bolt, or TaskRabbit, Freelancer, among others), are able to shape opinions, organise and manage work and influence the political debate. GAFAM and its growing capabilities have started a debate on how to deal with the transformations it has triggered. Currently, the role of the institutions of liberal democracy and the market economy in the public and economic life of European societies seems to be limited due to the difficulties of regulating the corporate power of platforms.

During the meeting, we want to show how platforms use their power. We will also look at legal solutions for the regulation of corporate power and the impact of platforms on social life and public services in EU countries, e.g. the Artificial Intelligence Act (AI Act) and the use of algorithms and automated decision-making, for example with regard to credit rating or profiling of unemployed people. Does the use of algorithms guarantee impartial assessments? Does it comply with the law and democratic values? Can an algorithm be considered a legal act? Why should citizens and citizens be able to control the ways in which algorithms and automated decision-making operate in different areas of life? All these questions are relevant because the development of platforms is closely linked to the exploitation of gaps and contradictions in national and EU legislation.

Guest speakers:

Dr Joanna Mazur – DELab University of Warsaw analyst, assistant professor at the Faculty of Management at the University of Warsaw and associate at the Centre for Antitrust and Regulatory Studies, author of the book ‘Algorithm as public information in European law’ (WUW, 2021)

Sylwia Czubkowska – Technology journalist, co-author of the Techstorie podcast on TokFM radio. Creator of SpidersWeb+ magazine and its head for the first three years. Previously worked for Gazeta Wyborcza, DGP, Dziennik, Polska The Times and Przekrój weekly. Nominated many times for the most important journalism awards.


Olga Gitkiewicz – sociologist, reporter, journalist, student of the Doctoral College of Sociology at UWr and INCA partner


May 22
6:00 pm CEST


Klubokawiarnia Recepcja
46 Ruska Street
Wrocław, Poland
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