Council of Europe Recommendation on the human rights impacts of algorithmic systems

On 8 April 2020 the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe has adopted the

Recommendation CM/Rec(2020)1 oftheCommitteeof Ministers tomember States on the human rights impacts of algorithmic systems.

In the Guidelines, a number of obligations of States with respect to the protection and promotion of human rights and fundamental freedoms in the context of algorithmic systems are pointed out. In particular, as regards Democratic participation and awareness (1.3), the Committee of Ministers stresses that: “In order to ensure the full exercise of human rights and democratic freedoms, States should foster general public awareness of the capacity, power and consequential impacts of algorithmic systems, including their potential use to manipulate, exploit, deceive or distribute resources, with a view to enabling all individuals and groups to be aware of their rights and to know how to put them into practice, and how to use digital technologies for their own benefit. In addition, all relevant actors, including those in the public, private and civil society sectors in which algorithmic systems are contemplated or are in use, should promote, encourage and support in a tailored and inclusive manner (taking account of diversity with respect to, for instance, age, gender, race, ethnicity, cultural or socio-economic background) a level of media, digital and information literacy that enables the competent and critical consideration of and use of algorithmic systems.”


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