More clarity required on contentious AMS algorithm

Controversial Decision on AMAS Algorithm Halts Implementation: Clarification Needed on Profiling Influence

The recent decision made by the Administrative Court has put a hold on the admissibility procedure regarding the disputed AMS algorithm. The court has deemed that further clarification is necessary, specifically with regards to whether the digital tool intended to determine labor market prospects would significantly influence decisions made by AMS personnel. This question has been under scrutiny for nearly three years.

The Labor Market Assistance System (AMAS) was supposed to be implemented nationwide at the beginning of 2021, but was halted in August 2020 by the data protection authority. The decision was later overturned by the Federal Administrative Court, leading to a judgment by the Administrative Court.

The goal of AMAS was to categorize unemployed individuals into three groups based on their labor market opportunities using an algorithm. This information was intended to help allocate funding measures more efficiently and provide support to those with medium prospects. However, ultimately, it was up to responsible advisors, such as those who decided whether someone received expensive skilled worker training or not, to make final decisions about unemployment support.

Recent court rulings have deemed that the algorithm falls under “significant public interest,” which is a prerequisite for justifying personal data use. However, this ruling also confirmed that “profiling” takes place within AMS – meaning that decisions made about job seekers are largely determined by automatically calculated labor market opportunities. Whether or not this profiling is admissible remains a controversial question that will need further clarification through a new procedure before the program can be used effectively.

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