What's the news?
The government was using the fraud detection tool SyRI until 2020, the exact operation of which no one knew. It was unclear how it selected 'suspicious' addresses. Now it turns out that it leaned on a comprehensive range of 'risk indicators' that meant that even an old fine or paying dog tax could be an indication of tax, benefit or allowance fraud. The risk indicators appear to have been based on gut feelings and prejudices rather than facts.
Why is this important?
After a court ruling in 2020, SyRI was stopped. But in socioeconomically weaker neighborhoods, there are still detection projects today in which the government uses a similar method. Privacy organizations are therefore going to court again.
How was this investigated?
Follow the Money gained access to documents on SyRI as a result of a Woo request to the Ministry of Social Affairs and Employment: memos, presentations and extensive information on the fraud indicators.