AlgorithmWatch is a non-profit research and advocacy organization that is committed to watch, unpack and analyze automated decision-making (ADM) systems and their impact on society.

Image classification algorithms at Apple, Google still push racist tropes

Automated systems from Apple and Google label characters with dark skins “Animals”.

Tracing the Tracers

The ‘Tracing the Tracers’ project provides a platform to continuously update the public on how automated decision-making systems are being used in Europe — and the rest of the world — in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Read our analyses, search the database and contribute by flagging ADM systems not yet listed here!

Story

27 April 2021

#surveillance

Greek camps for asylum seekers to introduce partly automated surveillance systems

An EU-funded surveillance system for “reception and identification centers” on five Greek islands raises questions about asylum seekers’ privacy and well-being. Despite assurances from European authorities, the Centaur system suggests that mass control, and not shelter, is the priority.

Ralph / Flickr

Position

22 April 2021

#regulation

AlgorithmWatch’s response to the European Commission’s proposed regulation on Artificial Intelligence – A major step with major gaps

Story

3 March 2021

#instagram

Politicians can do well on Instagram. Political posts, less so.

An experiment by AlgorithmWatch, Groene Amsterdammer, Pointer and NOS in the Netherlands shows that Instagram probably prioritizes images of faces and pushes down images that contain text.

Story

25 February 2021

#unding

In Berlin, Google Maps and TomTom encourage car drivers to disregard the law

Routing services from TomTom and Google Maps encourage car drivers to use cycle streets, which is illegal. Both companies said they would update their databases, but this is unlikely to completely solve the problem.

Publications

Read our comprehensive reports, analyses and working papers on the impact and ethical questions of algorithmic decision-making, written in collaboration with our network of researchers and civil society experts. See our publications
Mat NapoUnsplash

Analysis, 9 May 2021

In Italy, general practitioners and some regions adopt COVID-19 vaccine prioritization algorithms

Amid a chaotic rollout of the national vaccination plan, the Italian Federation of General Practitioners (FIMMG) and some regions in Italy are resorting to algorithms to more efficiently priorities who gets vaccinated against COVID-19.

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Journalistic stories

How does automated decision-making effect our daily lives? Where are the systems applied and what happens when something goes wrong? Read our journalistic investigations on the current use of ADM systems and their consequences. Read our stories

15 April 2021

How French welfare services are creating ‘robo-debt’

When automated fraud detection algorithms fail, welfare services can wrongly demand the repayment of benefits. Over the last five years, several scandals showed the breadth of the problem. In Australia, 400,000 people were put in ‘robo-debt’, 40,000 in Michigan and 26,000 in the Netherlands. Journalist Lucie Inland explains how the French welfare office automatically put her in debt, and how she fought back.

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Positions

Read our responses and expert analyses on current political and regulatory developments concerning automated decision-making. Read our positions
Reclaim your face

4 May 2021

Reclaim Your Face – A European Citizens Initiative to ban biometric mass surveillance

A large coalition of civil society organizations, among them AlgorithmWatch and AlgorithmWatch Switzerland, have come together in a European movement that demands a ban on biometric recognition systems that enable mass surveillance. Earlier this year, it also launched a European Union Citizens Initiative, calling on the EU to ban biometric mass surveillance - such as automated face recognition in public spaces.

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Blog

Upcoming events, campaigns and updates from our team – here is where you get your news about AlgorithmWatch. Visit our blog
Julia Bornkessel | CC BY 4.0

Team , 11 March 2021

The AlgorihmWatch team continues to grow: new faces 2021

In the last 12 months, the number of AlgorithmWatch team members has more than doubled. We are happy to introduce the new colleagues who joined us at the beginning of 2021. Welcome, Mira, Kerstin, Gregor, Leonie and Jens!

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Projects

Our research projects take a specific look at automated decision-making in certain sectors, ranging from sustainablity, the COVID-19 pandemic, human resources to social media platfroms and public discourse. You can also get involved! Engage and contribute, for example with a data donation! Learn more about our projects

9 March 2021

AutoCheck – Mapping risks of discrimination in automated decision-making systems

Automated decision-making (ADM) processes are becoming a fact of life in more and more areas: They assess our creditworthiness, set individualized prices on online retail platforms or suggest which movies to watch. However, their use […]

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