Netherlands: Govt. use of AI to identify potential welfare fraud violates human rights, court rules

Author: Don Jacobson, UPI, Published on: 6 February 2020

"Dutch anti-fraud system violates human rights, court rules", 5 Feb 2020

A Dutch court ruled Wednesday that a government system that uses artificial intelligence to identify potential welfare fraudsters is illegal because it violates laws that shield human rights and privacy...

Privacy groups, the Netherlands' largest trade union federation and several Dutch citizens sued the government after SyRI was introduced in 2014... They argued the system violates human rights because it was selectively used in predominantly low-income neighborhoods and created a "surveillance regime" that disproportionately targeted poorer citizens...

"This decision sets a strong legal precedent for other courts to follow," said Philip Alston, United Nations special rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights. "It is one of the first times a court anywhere has stopped the use of digital technologies by welfare authorities on human rights grounds."

Alston said last year the world is moving further into a "digital welfare dystopia" in which artificial intelligence technology is used by governments to cut welfare spending, use intrusive government surveillance systems and produce profits for private corporate interests...

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