Program Director, Labor Futures

Aiha Nguyen

Aiha Nguyen combines
research and practice at
the intersection of
technology, labor,
and advocacy.

Aiha leads the Labor Futures Initiative at Data & Society, which seeks to better understand emergent disruptions in the labor force as a result of data-centric technological development, and create new frames for understanding these disruptions through evidence-based research and collaboration with stakeholders. Aiha guides research and engagement, with a birds-eye view of the stakeholders and actors in the field of labor and technology. She brings a practitioners perspective to Data & Society, having worked for over a decade in community and worker advocacy and organizing.

Prior to joining Data & Society, she worked to raise job standards for retail, airport, and other service workers, and addressed issues of food access, safety and security, and local governance at the Los Angeles Alliance for a New Economy (LAANE). She has authored reports analyzing outsourced passenger service work at LAX; the impact of automated self-checkout systems on public safety and jobs; and a baseline study of Orange County’s philanthropic community.

Aiha is interested in expanding Data & Society’s research on workplace monitoring and algorithmic management to include the resulting privacy concerns of workers and changing labor conditions as a result of technical systems. Her interests lie at the intersection of labor, technology, and urban studies. Through these lines of inquiry, she hopes her work contributes to shifting the debate towards worker-centered discussions and solutions.

All Work

  • Resource
    Data & Society
    Technology enables employers to increasingly monitor their employees. This explainer by Alexandra Mateescu and Aiha Nguyen identifies four current trends in workplace monitoring and surveillance: prediction and flagging tools; biometrics and health data; remote monitoring and time-tracking; and gamification and algorithmic management. Read more
    February 2019
  • Resource
    Data & Society
    This explainer by Alexandra Mateescu and Aiha Nguyen defines algorithmic management and reviews how this concept challenges workers’ rights in sectors, including retail, the service industry, and delivery and logistics. The authors outline existing research on the ways that algorithmic management is manifesting across various labor industries, shifting workplace power dynamics, and putting workers at a disadvantage. It can enable increased surveillance and control while removing transparency. Read more
    February 2019
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