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.

Fixing Online Forms Shouldn’t Wait Until Retirement

A new Unding Survey is investigating discrimination in online forms. But operators are already getting angry emails. Behind some: a recently retired IT consultant with one of the most common surnames in the world and 30 years experience of not being able to sign up.

Blog

11 January 2022

#dsa #europeancommission

Platforms oppressing public interest research: EU Commission responds to MEP Breyer’s question concerning AlgorithmWatch

After Facebook forced AlgorithmWatch to shutter our Instagram monitoring project, MEP Patrick Breyer submitted a written question to the European Commission asking how to protect public interest research from being oppressed by large tech platforms. Now, the Commission has responded.

Emily Morter | Unsplash

Blog

27 December 2021

The year that was not saved by automated systems – 2021 in review

A climate catastrophe in Germany and the revelations of the Facebook Files had one thing in common: the humans in the loop failed to take the right decisions. 2021 was not the year algorithms were reined in, but 2022 might be.

DSA milestone: EU lawmakers have responded to our calls for meaningful transparency for big tech

Over the last months, AlgorithmWatch – supported by dozens of civil society organizations and researchers, and over 6.000 individuals – has advocated for using the Digital Services Act (DSA) to enable meaningful transparency into the way online platforms influence our public sphere. The vote in the European Parliament today shows that our work has made an impact.

Dmitry Ratushny | Unsplash

Tracing The Tracers 2021 report: Automating COVID responses

In this final report, we will provide an early overall assessment of the main trends and developments concerning ADM-based responses to COVID-19.

Joint Statement on the Ad Hoc Committee on Artificial Intelligence (CAHAI) in the Council of Europe

Yesterday, the Council of Europe’s Ad Hoc Committee on Artificial Intelligence (CAHAI) held its last session. In a joint statement with the Conference of International NGOs of the Council of Europe, Global Partners Digital, and Homo Digitalis, we express our concerns over the outcome of the process, and we call upon the Council of Europe to ensure that the procedure leading to a legal framework on AI be inclusive and open to representatives of civil society.

Elwood j blues | Wiki Commons | Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0

A paradigm shift in German digital policies? – The newly presented German coalition agreement shows good approaches, but there is need for clarification

The coalition agreement between SPD, Bündnis 90/Die Grünen and FDP is out. It contains many good ideas. A strengthening of civil society actors working on digitization issues, digital transformation with a focus on people's interests and the protection of fundamental digital rights are covered in the text. The outlooks are encouraging. But when looking more closely, there is room for improvement - especially with regard to automated decision-making systems (ADM systems).

Christian Lue | Unsplash

Position

30 November 2021

#aiact #eu #regulation

Civil society calls on the EU to put fundamental rights first in the AI Act

115 civil society organisations, including AlgorithmWatch and European Digital Rights (EDRi), launched a collective statement to call for an Artificial Intelligence Act (AIA) which foregrounds fundamental rights.

Holding platforms accountable: The DSA must empower vetted public interest research to reign in platform risks to the public sphere

The negotiations on the Digital Services Act (DSA) are now at a critical juncture. We have written an open letter to all IMCO Committee Members of the European Parliament asking them to empower a broad base of vetted public interest researchers whose independent scrutiny is vital to holding large tech platforms accountable. It has been signed by 22 international academics and independent researchers and 29 civil society organisations.

Luke Watkinson | Unsplash

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
Photo: Mitya Ivanov | Unsplash

24 September 2021

Domestic COVID certificates: what does the evidence say?

Born to help reopen international travel routes, digital COVID certificates are now required in several countries to enter premises such as bars, restaurants, gyms, pools, and museums, and to attend large public events. But do they work — and what for, precisely? More fundamentally, is it even possible to have an evidence-based debate about them at all? Tracing The Tracers looked at the lessons we should learn from the available literature, with the help of a stellar group of researchers.

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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

Polska Zielona Sieć | Wiki Commons | CC BY 2.0

13 December 2021

Inside Poland’s stay-at-home “selfie” app

The Polish government's mandatory "Home Quarantine" app was supposed to replace home police visits. Users say it is a joke.

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Positions

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

23 November 2021

EU policy makers: Protect people’s rights, don’t narrow down the scope of the AI Act!

EU Member States are pushing for a definition of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in the proposed AI Act that would dramatically limit its scope and exclude many systems that already have stark consequences for people’s fundamental rights and life prospects. We demand the European Council change its course, and call on the European Parliament to defend a position that puts people’s rights first instead of turning the AI Act into a paper tiger.

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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

4 January 2022

From evidence to impact: Stiftung Mercator supports AlgorithmWatch

Stiftung Mercator will support AlgorithmWatch over the next three years to strengthen our work seeking to influence digital policies and algorithmic governance in the public interest.

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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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