How Dutch activists got an invasive fraud detection algorithm banned


The Dutch government has been using SyRI, a secret algorithm, to detect possible social welfare fraud. Civil rights activists have taken the matter to court and managed to get public organizations to…

In Flanders, an algorithm attempts to make school choice fairer


In Belgium, some schools don’t have enough capacity for all students that want to go there. In the Flemish part of the country, the government introduced an algorithm to assign places in schools, in t…

Central authorities slow to react as Sweden’s cities embrace automation of welfare management


By Katarina Lind and Leo Wallentin of Journalism++. Part of this story is available in Swedish at Dagens Samhälle under the title Trelleborgs biståndsrobot spred känsliga uppgifter. Trelleborg is Swed…

Germany’s new media treaty demands that platforms explain algorithms and stop discriminating. Can it deliver?


Facebook can’t decide if it’s a tech company, a media company, a telecoms company, or something else entirely. Ahead of talks with European regulators, CEO Mark Zuckerberg said it’s something in betwe…

EU Commission publishes white paper on AI regulation 20 days before schedule, forgets regulation

In a set of documents published today, the European Commission unveiled its strategy for “Europe's digital future”. Despite some promising regulatory proposals, the Berlaymont’s program for automated…

Between care and control: 200 years of health data in France


The French “Health Data Hub” will soon offer health data on all French citizens to AI startups that request it. It is the latest step in a project to centralize health information that began 200 years…

The algorithm police is coming. Will it have teeth?


Lawmakers in several European countries are passing or considering legislation to keep algorithms in check. How it will be enforced, and by whom, is still unclear.

“Lawmakers should provide rule-based descriptions of what it means not to be racist”


Cathy O’Neil is a mathematician and the author of several books on data science, including Weapons of Math Destruction, which looked at the impact of algorithms on society. In an e-mail interview, she…

At least 11 police forces use face recognition in the EU, AlgorithmWatch reveals


The majority of the police forces that answered questions by AlgorithmWatch said they use or plan to introduce face recognition. Use cases vary greatly across countries, but almost all have in common…

Dutch MP Kees Verhoeven wants a registry of “heavy” algorithms – but it shouldn’t be public


On September 10, Dutch MP Kees Verhoeven put forward a motion in the Dutch parliament, together with MP Harry van der Molen, to create a mandatory register for all public-sector algorithms. He explain…

Price-fixing algorithms can come, competition authorities are ready, they claim


In a new report, the competition authorities of France and Germany reviewed how algorithms could lead to cartels and price-fixing. They offer solutions, too.

New Swiss algorithm to desegregate schools, one block at a time


Two researchers from Zurich University created an algorithm that helps desegregate schools by slightly changing the boundaries of each school’s catchment area.

“Explainable AI” doesn’t work for online services – now there’s proof


New regulation, such as the GDPR, encourages the adoption of “explainable artificial intelligence.” Two researchers claim to have proof of the impossibility for online services to provide trusted expl…

Palantir, the secretive data behemoth linked to the Trump administration, expands into Europe


The data analysis company, known in particular for running the deportation machine of the Trump administration, is expanding aggressively into Europe. AlgorithmWatch mapped some of its clients.

Facebook enables automated scams, but fails to automate the fight against them


Scammers massively use Facebook’s advertising platform using so-called “cloakers” to evade automated checks. They would be very simple to detect but, despite announcements to the contrary, Facebook se…

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