• Thu. Feb 29th, 2024

The Controversial Profiling of AMAS Algorithm: What this Ruling Means for the Labor Market Assistance System


Feb 13, 2024
More clarity required on contentious AMS algorithm

The Labor Market Assistance System (AMAS) was supposed to be introduced nationwide at the beginning of 2021, but was stopped in August 2020 by the data protection authority. This decision was contested and eventually overturned by the Federal Administrative Court, leading to a recent judgment by the Administrative Court. The algorithm used in AMAS is considered to be in the “significant public interest,” a prerequisite for justifying the use of personal data. However, it also confirmed the existence of “profiling.” Whether or not this profiling is admissible will depend on the extent to which AMS employees’ decisions about the assignment of job seekers are largely determined by the automatically calculated labor market opportunities.

The main question at issue is whether digital tools intended to determine labor market prospects significantly influence AMS personnel’s decisions. This question has been under scrutiny for almost three years and recently led to a new procedure being necessary to clarify it. The decision made by the Administrative Court has extended the admissibility procedure regarding this disputed algorithm, making it even longer due to a need for further clarification of the matter.

The Labor Market Assistance System aimed to divide unemployed people into three categories with high, medium, and low labor market opportunities using an algorithm. However, it ultimately left final unemployment support decisions up to responsible advisors such as whether someone should receive expensive skilled worker training or not. Despite this, concerns about profiling have arisen as a result of using personal data in decision-making processes, and its admissibility remains controversial until further clarification is provided.

As a result of this ruling, it remains unclear when and in what form AMAS can be used. The program is currently being examined in detail by AMS officials who are trying to determine their next steps following this decision reported initially by The Standard (online).

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