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The essay examines the ways in which work is used in digital platforms. The author proposes to define “smart exploitationµ the specific characteristics of the use of work by digital platforms such as Uber. Elements are identified, such as algorithmic management, datification and gamification, highlighting that the freedom of gig workers actually hides a form of self-exploitation induced by the technical operating models of the platforms themselves. The “smart exploitationµ therefore alludes to a model of technoregulation that promotes the fake self-employment of gig workers.