Is there trouble on the horizon for algorithms in sport?

Is there trouble on the horizon for algorithms in sport?
Published: Thursday, 17 September 2020. Written by Jonathan Carr, Mark Hersey No Comments

Algorithms have featured heavily in the news lately, albeit for the wrong reasons. The algorithms used to determine UK school examination results were eventually abandoned after a chorus of derision and condemnation[1] over their apparent discriminatory bias against students from disadvantaged backgrounds and some questionable outcomes.  But algorithms are used in many aspects of our lives and they are here to stay.  Sport is no exception and indeed their prevalence and importance in many sports has been steadily growing for many years. 

In light of the ‘A’ level fiasco, the question must now be asked whether the use of algorithms in sport will fall under a similar public microscope and whether legal challenges of one kind or another will increasingly start to emerge.  This article examines:

  • How algorithms are used in sport and how they work
  • Do algorithms reduce or perpetuate human bias?
  • Are sports organisations at risk of discrimination claims?
  • Do algorithms infringe data protection principles?

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About the Author

Jonathan Carr

Jonathan Carr

I am a partner and specialist employment lawyer at Lewis Silkin with over 20 years’ experience advising on employment law issues.

Mark Hersey

Mark Hersey

I am an Associate in Lewis Silkin’s Commercial, Data Privacy and Brands & IP practice groups. I joined Lewis Silkin in January 2018 and I primarily advise clients on commercial contracts and data privacy matters.
 

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