Huge databases are being used to predict which children are at risk of harm or involvement in crime and which families are vulnerable, with little evidence the predictions are any better than the views of an experienced social worker, while benefits applicants are profiled and risk scored by computer systems by the Department for Work and Pensions and their local council.
Our report “Poverty Panopticon: the hidden algorithms shaping Britain’s welfare state”, published in July 2021 and formed from a 9-month investigation reveals how councils across the UK are conducting mass profiling and citizen scoring of welfare and social care recipients to predict fraud, rent non-payments and major life events.
Read the report by clicking here or on the image below
The algorithms that we have uncovered are unevidenced, incredibly invasive and likely discriminatory. Councils are using tools of automated suspicion without residents’ knowledge or their consent and risk disadvantaging and discriminating against Britain’s poor.
RISK BASED VERIFICATION
DWP HOUSING BENEFIT RISK SCORING
Data protection rules entitle you to ask any public body how they use your information and why - your Subject Access Request lets you find what data your council holds on you and how it is used.
If you get a response and decide to share it confidentially with Big Brother Watch for our campaign we promise to do everything we can to explain how your data is being processed in return.
Enter your local authority into the box below and you’ll be given a template Subject Access Request, based on what we think is going on at your council, and send it in.
You may be asked to provide a copy of some ID to make sure you’re getting the right data, this is completely normal. You are always entitled to see how your info is used under the Data Protection Act.
Let us know if you have sent off a Subject Access Request, or if you have any questions, by emailing us at email@example.com
If you share your response with us, we will treat it confidentially and help you understand what it means. Get in touch with our teams at firstname.lastname@example.org
Increase your impact: Share our work with anyone you think might be affected by this mass data gathering and ask them to get in touch!