Exposing Welfare Surveillance in Europe
On March 6, Lighthouse Reports and WIRED launched an unprecedented investigative series into risk scoring systems used in welfare systems across Europe. The 18-month deep dive found discrimination, wide-scale surveillance and a trail of ruined lives. The list of countries includes the Netherlands, Denmark, Sweden, Ireland, France, Italy, Serbia, Spain and the United Kingdom.
This is the first time journalists have been able to conduct an inside-out assessment of one of these predictive systems. Lighthouse Reports obtained the code for a complex algorithm used to predict benefits fraud in the Dutch city of Rotterdam and conducted an peer-reviewed experiment to audit the algorithm, which had partially been developed by the consulting firm Accenture.