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Local government rogue profiling algorithm angers unions

The FNV union has lodged a complaint with the Dutch Data Protection Authority (AP) against the municipalities of Nieuwegein, Houten, Eisselstein, Lopik and Wienendaal. Until June last year, these five municipalities used so-called fraud scorecards when applying for benefits to prevent benefit fraud.

The algorithm facilitates discrimination by labeling high-risk groups of people based on automated profiles, such as trailer dwellers, construction workers, and singles living in “worse neighborhoods.”

The Fraud Scorecard was in use by over 158 local governments from 2004 until the court’s ruling in 2020. After investigations by the Lighthouse Report, Argos, and a group of journalists at the NRC, it was revealed last June that the subsequent community was still using the fraud scorecard. FNV has since set up a hotline where beneficiaries can check themselves if they have been flagged as potential fraudsters when applying for benefits. Shortly thereafter, the hotline received 165 reports.

FNV Vice Chair Kitty Jong expects AP to fine five municipalities. “Despite all the warnings, these municipalities continue to use the risk indicators that were also used in the benefit issue,” she said. We expect stronger and more stringent oversight as we look more closely at monitoring usage.”

https://nltimes.nl/2023/01/22/municipalities-fraud-profiling-algorithm-angers-labor-union Local government rogue profiling algorithm angers unions

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