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Sara Kingsley et al:

"Crowdworkers are either considered self-employed, freelancers, or are hired as independent contractors by third party vendors to work on private crowdsourcing platforms, internal to and used by most large tech companies. By proxy, this means crowdworkers labor for multinational corporations with billions of dollars in revenues for pennies at a time, and labor at their own risk, without the affordance of job protections even the lowest paying occupations are expected to have.

Crowdwork is not legally defined or acknowledged by the U.S. Department of Labor or the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the government agency charged with defining occupational and employment categories.

Yet, federal government departments like the Central Intelligence Agency, the U.S. Department of Justice, DARPA, and the U.S. Army Research Lab increasingly rely on crowdsourcing for translation, transcription, and other undisclosed activities. Crowdsourcing is also a growing segment of local and state government efforts to create data-driven and “smart” systems. Local police forces use crowdsourcing to identify license plates of traffic violators and send tickets by mail instead of paying police officers to stop people on the road. Hundreds of thousands of hours of surveillance tapes are outsourced to the crowd for similar purposes." (