Controversial Profiling in AMAS: A Complicated Legal Decision Leaves Job Seekers in Limbo

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 it 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 intention of AMAS was to divide unemployed people into three categories with high, medium, and low labor market opportunities using a computer algorithm. However, it is not clear when and in what form this program could be used due to a lack of clarity on whether the digital tool intended to determine labor market prospects significantly influences decisions made by AMS personnel.

The main question under scrutiny for almost three years is whether profiling is admissible. According to the recent decision, the algorithm is considered significant public interest, but it also confirmed that profiling exists. Whether or not this profiling is acceptable will depend on how much AMS employees’ decisions about job seeker assignments are determined by automatically calculated labor market opportunities. This controversial issue has not been addressed by the Federal Administrative Court, so a new procedure will be necessary to clarify it.

As a result of this decision, it remains unclear when and in what form the program could be used. The AMS is currently examining the ruling in detail to determine its next steps.

Leave a Reply