Algorithms quantify us: poor, rich, customer, no customer, homosexual, poorly educated, etc. Decisions, from tax levy to personnel policy, are based on that. That has consequences for our constitutional rights.
The shadow sides to algorithms, Big Data, the Internet of Things and Artificial Intelligence are frequently reported by the media. Often, a lot of attention goes to the usual suspects: Facebook, Google, Twitter and YouTube. Research project “Algorithms and Constitutional Rights” aims to look beyond that, focusing on the acts of smaller businesses, insurances, banks and, of course, the government. Business and government decisions based on algorithms may have consequences for our constitutional rights.
On to Parliament
Kasja Ollongren, Dutch Minister of the Interior and Kingdom Relations, calls the project which is commissioned by her, “important” and “solid” in an accompanying letter to parliament. The project focuses on the impact of algorithms on privacy rights, freedom rights and right to equal treatment, among others.
Currently involved in the project are professor Janneke Gerards (Fundamental Rights Law) and professor Remco Nehmelman (Public Institutional Law) and Legal Research Master student Max Vetzo, who was responsible for an important part of the research according to Gerards. Being a part of Utrecht University, all researchers aim to explore the bottlenecks.