Food delivery company Foodinho has to amend how it processes riders’ data through a digital platform, says Italy’s data protection authority Garante.

The company also has to verify algorithms used to book and assign orders for food and other products do not discriminate among its 19,000 riders, said the DPA, which fined the company €2.6m ($3.08m).

The decisions are the outcome of inquiries which revealed several infringements of data protection legislation, the Italian law on employer-employee relations and recently enacted legislation to protect workers using digital platforms.

Garante discovered Foodinho failed to adequately inform its workers how algorithms used to handle their functions and had not implemented suitable safeguards to ensure accuracy and fairness of results used to rate riders’ performance.

The company also had no procedures in place to enforce the right to obtain human intervention, express one’s view and contest decisions taken by the algorithms, such as excluding riders from work assignments.

Garante has ordered Foodinho to take measures to protect riders’ rights and freedoms related to automated decisions.

In addition, the company has to check the accuracy and relevance of data the system uses, including mapping of routes, estimated and actual delivery times and customers’ feedback.

“This is intended to minimise the risk of errors and biases that might, for instance, result into reducing delivery assignments to certain riders or excluding a rider from the platform,” the DPA said.

The company has to implement most of the changes within 60 days, and 90 days to finalise overhaul of the algorithms.

The decisions are the first concerning riders following Garante’s inspections into handling of employees’ data by Italy’s main food delivery companies.

The authority also initiated a joint operation with Spanish counterpart AEPD to look into Foodinho parent company, GlovoApp23 of Spain. AEPD’s investigation continues.


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