More clarity required on contentious AMS algorithm

The recent decision made by the Administrative Court has brought even more uncertainty to the admissibility procedure of the disputed AMS algorithm. The Court has called for further clarification on a key issue: whether the digital tool intended to determine labor market prospects of the unemployed will significantly influence the decisions of AMS personnel.

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 ruling by the Administrative Court.

The main goal of AMAS was to divide unemployed people into three categories with high, medium, and low labor market opportunities using a computer algorithm. The aim was to allocate funding measures more efficiently and provide support to those with medium labor market prospects. However, ultimately, it was up to responsible advisors such as job placement specialists or counselors to make final decisions about job seekers’ unemployment support options like expensive skilled worker training or not.

Recent court decisions have established that personal data can be used when it is in significant public interest, which includes profiling for employment purposes. However, whether this profiling is admissible will depend on how much weight AMS employees place on automatically calculated labor market opportunities when making decisions about job seekers’ assignments. This controversial issue remains unresolved due to lack of clarity from previous court rulings.

As a result, it remains unclear when and in what form AMAS could be used, leaving uncertainty for both employers and employees alike. The AMS is currently reviewing its own decision before taking any next steps towards implementation while awaiting further guidance from legal authorities regarding this matter as reported by Standard (online).

By Editor

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