Stibbe Brussels' TMT partner, Erik Valgaeren, speaks during a session on Algorithmic Criminal Justice during the 14th edition of the annual Computers, Privacy and Data Protection conference (27 - 29 January 2021) in Brussels. This edition of the event will go fully on-line.
Criminal justice algorithms can now inform judicial decisions by foretelling future criminal behaviour. More concretely, they can contribute to the evaluation of the accused by assessing the risk of reoffending. In the name of correct risk foreseeing, these technologies may use any supposedly accuracy-enhancing factor. Criteria, including financial status, gender or age, may be considered as valid for the purpose of calculating probabilities; albeit, they may be neither blameworthy per se nor controllable by the defendant. Such algorithmic implementations have raised serious concerns. Different individuals accused of having committed the same criminal offence may be treated/punished in a different way. Furthermore, the defence may be unaware of the application of such risk assessment tools that can moreover be unchallengeable, due to their proprietary nature and/or unintelligible decision-making.
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