This article explores the issues of subordination and authority in the contemporary world of work as they are exacerbated by new forms of work-surveillance that track emotions and mental states of workers by means of artificial intelligence, predictive algorithms and big data. It discusses subordination in contemporary work arrangements, highlighting how new technologies and business practices expand hierarchy and forms of private government beyond the scope of the employment relationship. It explores some of the technologies and practices that magnify and expand managerial powers to unprecedented levels, by tracking and strictly monitoring workers’ emotional and mental states. It also highlights how collective labour rights represent the best counterbalance to restrain these practices and curb modern forms of private government in the workplace. It concludes by discussing how the distinction between the traditional functions of collective rights, the ‘civil liberty’ and the ‘industrial’ function is increasingly blurred, arguing that an expansion of the personal scope of collective rights is crucial in this regard.