Letter to the Automated Decision Systems Task Force - March 1, 2019
The New York Civil Liberties Union joined partner organizations in a letter to the Automated Decision Systems Task Force members requesting an inclusive and meaningful public engagement process to inform its forthcoming report and recommendations on a range of issues relating to government use of automated decision systems.
When Local Law 49 of 2018 was codified in the New York City Charter, it made New York City the first jurisdiction in the world to require a comprehensive review of how its government uses automated decision systems, and to require recommendations on a range of complicated legal, technical, and social concerns that arise from continued government use of these systems. Local Law 49 of 2018 requires the Task Force to make this report publicly available by December 2019, and the NYCLU and partner organizations fear that given this timeline the window of opportunity for the type of meaningful public engagement that would inform the Task Force’s work is rapidly closing.
While the letter notes that the Task Force has created an email address for residents to share concerns, it argues that additional avenues are necessary to empower, the public to help determine how automated decision systems appeals processes are structured, how the impact and harms of such systems might be measured, and which systems should, and should not, be classified within the automated decision systems definition.