• Fri. Mar 1st, 2024

“AMAS Algorithm’s Legal Battle Highlights Controversial Profiling in Labor Market Assistance Program


Feb 13, 2024
More clarity required on contentious AMS algorithm

The introduction of the Labor Market Assistance System (AMAS) in 2021 was halted by the data protection authority in August 2020. The decision was challenged, leading to a legal battle that was eventually overturned by the Federal Administrative Court. However, the recent decision made by the Administrative Court has brought about new challenges for the admissibility procedure regarding the disputed algorithm.

The main concern of the Court is whether digital tools used to determine labor market prospects significantly influence AMS personnel’s decisions. This question has been under scrutiny for three years now, and a new procedure will be necessary to clarify it fully. The intention of AMAS was to allocate funding measures more efficiently by categorizing unemployed people into high, medium, and low labor market opportunities using an algorithm. However, the final decision about unemployment support was still left to responsible advisors such as whether someone would receive expensive skilled worker training or not.

The recent judgment confirmed that the algorithm falls under significant public interest, a requirement for justifying personal data use. However, it also revealed that profiling exists within AMS. Whether profiling is admissible depends on how much AMS employees’ decisions are influenced by automatically calculated labor market opportunities. This controversial issue was not addressed by the Federal Administrative Court, so a new procedure is required to clarify it further.

As a result of this new decision, it remains unclear when and in what form AMAS could be used effectively. The program is currently being examined in detail by its developers to determine its next steps following this ruling’s initial report in Standard (online).

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