Public services; Automated Decision Systems; 1, 2018

New York City Automated Decision Systems Task Force



New York City Council


The New York City Council passed a bill in November 2017 mandating the creation of an Automated Decision Systems Task Force (ADS Task Force). Its mandate is to formulate recommendations on a process for reviewing government automated decision systems.
The originally proposed bill would have required that the source code for the algorithms used by the City be made public. However, in response to concerns about exposing proprietary information and creating security threats, the New York City Automated Decisions Task Force was created instead - announced in May 2018. "The Task Force is the first of its kind in the US and is composed of representatives from various government agencies and offices as well as partners in the nonprofit, research, and higher education communities.”
(1) identify which city agencies should be subject to review;
(2) recommend procedures so that people affected by an algorithmic decision can request an explanation upon what the decision was based, as well as how adverse impacts can be addressed;
(3) explain the development and implementation of a procedure in which the city may determine if an automated decision system used by a city agency "disproportionately impacts persons based upon age, race, creed, colour, religion, national origin, gender, disability, marital status, partnership status, caregiver status, sexual orientation, alienage or citizenship status"
The task force has no legal authority to force or penalize City agencies that do not comply with their recommendations.
Final report due December 2019.

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