When is a Decision Automated? A Taxonomy for a Fundamental Rights Analysis

Paper by Francesca Palmiotto: “This paper addresses the pressing issues surrounding the use of automated systems in public decision-making, with a specific focus on the field of migration, asylum, and mobility. Drawing on empirical research conducted for the AFAR project, the paper examines the potential and limitations of the General Data Protection Regulation and the proposed Artificial Intelligence Act in effectively addressing the challenges posed by automated decision making (ADM). The paper argues that the current legal definitions and categorizations of ADM fail to capture the complexity and diversity of real-life applications, where automated systems assist human decision-makers rather than replace them entirely. This discrepancy between the legal framework and practical implementation highlights the need for a fundamental rights approach to legal protection in the automation age. To bridge the gap between ADM in law and practice, the paper proposes a taxonomy that provides theoretical clarity and enables a comprehensive understanding of ADM in public decision-making. This taxonomy not only enhances our understanding of ADM but also identifies the fundamental rights at stake for individuals and the sector-specific legislation applicable to ADM. The paper finally calls for empirical observations and input from experts in other areas of public law to enrich and refine the proposed taxonomy, thus ensuring clearer conceptual frameworks to safeguard individuals in our increasingly algorithmic society…(More)”.

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