The Human Rights Implications of the Use of AI in the Digital Welfare State: Lessons Learned from the Dutch Syri Case

15 Pages Posted: 13 May 2022 Last revised: 23 Sep 2022

Date Written: May 13, 2022

Abstract

The article discusses the human rights implications of algorithmic decision-making in the social welfare sphere. It does so against the background of the 2020 Hague’s District Court judgment in a case challenging the Dutch government’s use of System Risk Indication—an algorithm designed to identify potential social welfare fraud. Digital welfare state initiatives are likely to fall short of meeting basic requirements of legality and protecting against arbitrariness. Moreover, the intentional opacity surrounding the implementation of algorithms in the public sector not only hampers the effective exercise of human rights but also undermines proper judicial oversight. The analysis unpacks the relevance and complementarity of three legal/regulatory frameworks governing algorithmic systems: data protection, human rights law and algorithmic accountability. Notwithstanding these frameworks’ invaluable contribution, the discussion casts doubt on whether they are well-suited to address the legal challenges pertaining to the discriminatory effects of the use of algorithmic systems.

Keywords: algorithmic decision-making, artificial intelligence, digital welfare state, discriminatory effects, data protection, right to private life, european convention on human rights

Suggested Citation

Rachovitsa, Mando (Adamantia) and Johann, Niclas, The Human Rights Implications of the Use of AI in the Digital Welfare State: Lessons Learned from the Dutch Syri Case (May 13, 2022). (2022) 22 Human Rights Law Review, University of Groningen Faculty of Law Research Paper No. 17/2022, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=4108462

Mando (Adamantia) Rachovitsa (Contact Author)

University of Nottingham ( email )

University Park
Nottingham, NG7 2RD
United Kingdom

Niclas Johann

affiliation not provided to SSRN

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