Friday 24 January 2020
Petite Halle
European Digital Rights (EDRi)

Panel Description

The systematic  detention of migrants at the US-Mexico border; the UK’s  wrongful deportation of 7 000 foreign students accused of cheating on a language test.  What do these examples have in common? In both cases, an algorithm made a decision with serious consequences for people’s lives.  Nearly 70 million people are currently on the move due to conflict, environmental factors, and economic reasons. Many states and international organisations involved in migration management are exploring machine learning to increase efficiency and support border security. These experiments range from big data predictions about population movements in the Mediterranean, to Canada’s use of automated decision-making in immigration applications, to AI lie detectors deployed at European airports.  Most of these experiments fail to account for the far-reaching impacts on lives and human rights. These unregulated technologies are developed with little oversight, transparency, and accountability.

  • For what purposes and how are AI, and automated decision-making systems used for immigration and border controls?
  • What are the implications of such use for human rights of migrants, refugees and asylum seekers?
  • How are these rights are enforced or violated at the borders and within states?
  • What best practices and policy measures need to be taken going forward?  


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