Challenging Biased Hiring Algorithms
Oxford Journal of Legal Studies (March 2021) https://doi.org/10.1093/ojls/gqab006
48 Pages Posted: 28 Jan 2021 Last revised: 25 Mar 2021
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
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