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.

Instagram algorithm: Süddeutsche publishes results of data analysis

Using thousands of data donations from AlgorithmWatch’s Instagram monitoring browser plug-in, German newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung showed that posts from the far-right appear higher on users’ timelines.

Felix Hunger/SZ

LinkedIn automatically rates “out-of-country” candidates as “not fit” in job applications

A feature on LinkedIn automatically rates candidates applying from another EU country as “not a fit”, which may be illegal. I asked 6 national and European agencies about the issue. None seemed interested in enforcing the law.

AlgorithmWatch forced to shut down Instagram monitoring project after threats from Facebook

Digital platforms play an ever-increasing role in structuring and influencing public debate. Civil society watchdogs, researchers and journalists need to be able to hold them to account. But Facebook is increasingly fighting those who try. It shut down New York University’s Ad Observatory last week, and went after AlgorithmWatch, too. The European Parliament and EU Member States must act now to prevent further bullying.

Story

23 August 2021

#bigtech #europe #lobby

How Big Tech Charms and Bullies European Politicians, Journalists and Academics

Google, Facebook and other very large tech companies built a lobbying system that, under the guise of furthering research or journalism, binds intellectuals in a complex network of patronage. Transparency is long overdue.

YummyBuum / TarikVision / Igor | Adobe Stock

Draft AI Act: EU needs to live up to its own ambitions in terms of governance and enforcement

Going forward with the proposed AI Act, the European Parliament and the Member States should re-think its risk-based approach, focus on affected communities, and beef up transparency requirements and enforcement mechanisms. We very much welcome the EU’s efforts to develop a framework for the governance of AI-based systems based on European values and the protection of fundamental rights, but there’s a long way to go to achieve these objectives.

Making sense of digital contact tracing apps for the next pandemics

In an interview with AlgorithmWatch, Prof. Susan Landau discusses why we need to resist fear in the face of pandemic uncertainty and the normalization of health surveillance technologies — and why the time to have a broad democratic discussion about their future uses is now.

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
Piero Nigro | Unsplash

Analysis, 8 July 2021

Digital contact tracing apps: do they actually work? A review of early evidence

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, many smartphone apps were launched to complement and augment manual contact tracing efforts without a priori knowledge of their actual effectiveness. A year later, do we know if they worked as intended? An analysis of early evidence—from both the literature and actual usage—by AlgorithmWatch finds that results, so far, are contradictory and that comparability issues might prevent an informed, overall judgment on the role of digital contact tracing apps in response to the COVID-19 pandemic altogether.

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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
CC-BY Bengt Nyman

10 August 2021

A Swedish town bought an AI to spot children at risk, but decided against deploying it

The Swedish municipality of Norrtälje bought an automated system to handle a spike in reports about children at risk. But it was shelved after concerns emerged regarding the software’s lawfulness and bias.

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Positions

Read our responses and expert analyses on current political and regulatory developments concerning automated decision-making. Read our positions
Sara Kurfeß Unsplash

17 August 2021

Twitter’s algorithmic bias bug bounty could be the way forward, if regulators step in

Twitter opened its image cropping algorithm and gave prizes to people who could find biases in it. While interesting in itself, the program mostly reveals the impotence of regulators.

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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
© comicsans | Adobe Stock

17 September 2021

Job alert! AlgorithmWatch is looking for a technical campaigner

AlgorithmWatch is looking for a dedicated technical campaigner to join our team in Berlin. Fluent German and proficient English skills are required.

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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 does not necessarily lead to less-biased decisions. ADM systems can perpetuate or even reinforce inequality and discrimination. For example, a…

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