Challenging Biased Hiring Algorithms

Oxford Journal of Legal Studies (March 2021)

48 Pages Posted: 28 Jan 2021 Last revised: 25 Mar 2021

See all articles by Aislinn Kelly-Lyth

Aislinn Kelly-Lyth

Harvard University - Harvard Law School; University of Cambridge - Faculty of Law

Date Written: May 1, 2020


Employers are increasingly using automated hiring systems to assess job applicants, with potentially discriminatory effects. This paper considers the effectiveness of EU-derived laws, which regulate the use of these algorithms in the UK. The paper finds that while EU data protection and equality laws already seek to balance the harms of biased hiring algorithms with the benefits of their use, enforcement of these laws in the UK is severely limited in practice. One significant problem is transparency, and this problem is likely to exist across the EU. The paper therefore recommends that data protection impact assessments, which must be carried out by all employers using automated hiring systems in the EU or UK, should be published in redacted form. Mandating, and in the short term incentivising, such publication would enable better enforcement of rights which already exist.

Keywords: data protection law, equality law, employment law, law and technology

Suggested Citation

Kelly-Lyth, Aislinn, Challenging Biased Hiring Algorithms (May 1, 2020). Oxford Journal of Legal Studies (March 2021), Available at SSRN:

Aislinn Kelly-Lyth (Contact Author)

Harvard University - Harvard Law School ( email )

1563 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

University of Cambridge - Faculty of Law ( email )

10 West Road
Cambridge, CB3 9DZ
United Kingdom

Do you have a job opening that you would like to promote on SSRN?

Paper statistics

Abstract Views
PlumX Metrics