Data scoring in UK councils lacks consistency or oversight


In a November 2018 report based on a year's study of the use of data scores, Data Justice Lab provided a comprehensive look at the use of data-driven citizen scoring in government, particularly focusing on six case studies drawn from local councils in the UK. The report noted there is no systematic information about where and how these systems are being deployed, there are no standard practices or common approaches, and local government transparency varied widely. While some councils develop their systems in-house, a number of companies pop up frequently: Experian, Xantura, Callcredit, and Capita. The report finds concerns with the extent of data collection and sharing; the potential for bias and discrimination in decision-making; the use of "risk" to justify targeting, stigma; and stereotyping, and the lack of transparency, public consent, and oversight.

Writer: Lina Dencik, Arne Hintz, Joanna Redden, and Harry Warne

Publication: Data Justice Lab

Publication date: 2018-11-19

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