Today, the Court of The Hague has ruled in the proceedings regarding the Dutch SyRI Act. This case was handled by Douwe Linders and Anton Ekker.
The Court finds that the SyRI Act is in violation of art. 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR). Therefore, the Ministry of Social Affairs must cease all further use of SyRI.
Further information can be found here:
Press release and judgment Court of The Hague
Uitspraak en persbericht Rechtbank Den Haag
SyRI is used in certain neighbourhoods and districts to look for patterns of a risk to possible fraudulent behaviour. This is done by creating risk profiles of citizens through secret ‘black box’ algorithms. According to the plaintiffs, a broad coalition of civil society organisations (Stichting Platform Bescherming Burgerrechten, Dutch Section of the International Commission of Jurists (NJCM), Union FNV, Stichting Privacy First, Stichting KDVP and the Landelijke Cliëntenraad) and authors Tommy Wieringa and Maxim Februari, the system constitutes a threat to the rule of law. The aim of the proceedings is having SyRI declared unlawful by the court.
SyRI is used to create risk alerts by processing and linking personal data of citizens. Names are collected in a register of risk reports. The government can start investigations into these citizens flagged as risk reports, and impose administrative or criminal law sanctions. All citizens of the Netherlands are, according to SyRI, suspects.