Data Privacy Brasil launches on March 20th the report “Emerging trends in the regulation of work on platforms in Brazil”. The report presents an exploratory research about the struggles to regulate platform work in Brazil, with emphasis on two processes: the Working Group set up by President Lula in 2023 and the Draf Bill presented by the federal government in 2024.

Antônio Cruz/Agência Brasil


Based on interviews with the participants of the Working Group and insights gathered through Data Privacy Brasil’s monitoring of the government’s platformed work agenda, the report identifies three key regulatory trends.

Firstly, there is a notable governmental effort to navigate towards a middle ground for ensuring decent work standards without rigid adherence to traditional “registered worker” models established in mid-20th-century Brazilian labor legislation. This represents a significant departure from historical norms, particularly given the emphasis on classic labor rights historically championed by the Workers’ Party. This shift reflects a willingness to adapt old convictions and embrace new legal frameworks conducive to promoting “decent work”, which is part of the G20 agenda in 2024.

Secondly, a major focus lies on addressing the intricacies of pension system organization within the context of platform work. Central to this concern is the issue of non-contributions to the National Social Security Institute (INSS), presenting a significant tax challenge. While the government acknowledges the distinct nature of this market, there is a pressing need for equitable tax arrangements to ensure the sustainability of social policies rooted in redistributive principles.

Thirdly, there is a critical recognition of the importance of safeguarding fundamental rights in the face of automated decision-making and algorithmic management prevalent in platform work environments. The elusive nature of traditional “boss’s orders” in this setting, often concealed within mathematical algorithms and automated management systems, poses unique challenges. The new Draft Bill defines that platform workers are self-employed workers on a platform. It also separates two wheel drivers and four wheel drivers, guaranteeing social rights of collective negotiation only for the four wheel drivers.

“This report points to the need for a critical analysis of reforms in the field of platform work, especially for the fundamental rights necessary in the face of algorithmic management. There is still a lot to advance in relation to new rights and decent work,” says Rafael Zanatta, co-director of Data Privacy Brasil. 

Considering the centrality of the decent work agenda for the Lula government and the growing overlap with digital rights issues (algorithmic management, due process on platforms, rights to contest, community management of personal data), we hope that there will be a deeper and more significant combination (or interplay) of this agenda in the coming years. The document also addresses the need for more empirical studies on the harm suffered by workers in algorithmic management processes and the difficulties in defending their fundamental rights in relation to data. According to the report, philanthropic entities, research centers, and civil society organizations (in the field of work and in the field of fundamental rights) should promote more exchanges of knowledge and strategies to think about the future of decent work in markets mediated by data and digital platforms.

The report is now available for reading; access the file here.

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