Discrimination

11 May 2020
Authorities in South Korea, which had been successful in containing the coronavirus early on due to its aggressive testing programme, began trying to trace more than 5,500 people who visited a group of bars between April 2 and May 6 because a single infected customer led to a new outbreak. More than
01 May 2020
Six weeks after British prime minister Boris Johnson imposed a lockdown, many workers in non-essential jobs across many sectors of the economy were nonetheless being forced to continue working in potentially dangerous situations such as call centres, offices, factories, warehouses, and English
29 Apr 2020
In February, before the pandemic was declared, the Myanmar Post and Telecommunications Department set a deadline of April 30 for citizens to register their mobile phone SIMs, a move the PTD said was necessary to enhance the security of electronic transactions and cut down crime. The PTD issued an
News & Analysis

PI explains why the judgement of the Kenyan High Court's judgement on the Huduma Namba matters globally.

In February 2019, the UK Home Office told the Independent Chief of Borders and Immigration that it was planning to build a system that could check and confirm an individual's immigration status in real time to outside organisation such as employers, landlords, and health and benefits services
In October 2018, the Singapore-based startup LenddoEFL was one of a group of microfinance startups aimed at the developing world that used non-traditional types of data such as behavioural traits and smartphone habits for credit scoring. Lenddo's algorithm uses numerous data points, including the
In November 2018 the UK's Equality and Human Rights Commission warned that asylum seekers have been deterred from seeking medical help in Scotland and Wales since the UK government began forcing the English NHS to charge upfront in 2017 and by fears that medical personnel will comply with Home
In December 2018, a report, "Access to Cash", written by the former financial ombusdsman Natalie Ceeney and independent from but paid for by the cash machine network operator Link, warned that the UK was at risk of sleepwalking into a cashless society and needed to protect an estimated 8 million
In a November 2018 report based on a year's study of the use of data scores, Data Justice Lab provided a comprehensive look at the use of data-driven citizen scoring in government, particularly focusing on six case studies drawn from local councils in the UK. The report noted there is no systematic
In November 2018 reports emerged that immigrants heading north from Central America to the US border are more and more often ensuring they are accompanied by children because "family units" are known to be less likely to be deported, at least temporarily, and smugglers charge less than half as much
In November 2016 the UK Information Commissioner's Office issued an enforcement notice against London's Metropolitan Police, finding that there had been multiple and serious breaches of data protection law in the organisation's use of the Gangs Violence Matrix, which it had operated since 2012. The
After an 18-month investigation involving interviews with 160 life insurance companies, in January 2019 New York Financial Services, the state's top financial regulator, announced it would allow life insurers to use data from social media and other non-traditional sources to set premium rates for
A study published in January 2019 found that a form of facial recognition technology that interprets emotions in facial expressions assigns more negative emotions to black men's faces than white men's faces. The problem is the latest in a series of ways that facial recognition has failed for non
16 Nov 2017
In 2017, US Immigration & Customs Enforcement (ICE) announced that it would seek to use artificial intelligence to automatically evaluate the probability of a prospective immigrant “becoming a positively contributing member of society.” In a letter to acting Department of Homeland Security Secretary
29 Apr 2019
A private intelligence company, LookingGlass Cyber Solutions, used social media to monitor more than 600 “Family Separation Day Protests” held across the United States on June 30, 2018, to oppose the Trump administration’s policy family separation policy. The policy was part of a “zero tolerance”
06 May 2019
Absher, an online platform and mobile phone app created by the Saudi Arabian government, can allow men to restrict women’s ability to travel, live in Saudi Arabia, or access government services. This app, which is available in the Google and Apple app stores, supports and enables the discriminatory
03 Jun 2019
Bahrain has warned its citizens and residents could face legal action simply for following social media accounts it deems anti-government, which raises concerns about the ability of Bahraini citizens and residents to exercise their fundamental rights and freedoms. In May 2019, a state terrorism law
Advocacy
The United Nations Special Rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights, Philip Alston, is preparing a thematic report to the UN General Assembly on the human rights impacts, especially on those living in poverty, of the introduction of digital technologies in the implementation of national social
01 Nov 2017
Cases of people being denied healthcare as they fail to provide an Aadhaar number have already started emerging. A 28-year old domestic worker, for instance, had to be hospitalised for a blood transfusion after she had an abortion with an unqualified local physician. She had been denied an abortion
06 Feb 2018
In this interview with Virginia Eubanks, the author highlights how electronic benefit transfer cards have become tracking devices and how data exploitation used to restrict access to welfare. https://www.vox.com/2018/2/6/16874782/welfare-big-data-technology-poverty Author: Sean Illing Publication
21 Mar 2014
This article is an overview of some of the research documenting how people in vulnerable positions are the ones most affected by government surveillance. https://stateofopportunity.michiganradio.org/post/technology-opportunity-researcher-says-surveillance-separate-and-unequal Author: Kimberly
18 Jul 2012
Research from the Brennan Center shows minorities are primarily affected by new laws that restrict citizens access to voting through ID requirement, increased distance to polling station, inconvenient opening hours and hidden costs. https://www.theguardian.com/world/2012/jul/18/voter-id-poor-black
In January 2019, it was discovered that the HIV-positive status of 14,200 people in Singapore, as well as their identification numbers and contact details, had been leaked online. According to a statement of the Ministry of Health, records leaked include 5,400 Singaporeans diagnosed as HIV-positive
12 Jul 2018
In 2018, British immigration officers demanded that the mothers of two children provide DNA samples in order to provide proof of paternity. The children both had British fathers and had previously been issued British passports, but their mothers were not UK citizens. In one case, the father had
08 May 2018
In 2018, documents obtained by a public records request revealed that the Los Angeles Police Department required its analysts to maintain a minimum of a dozen ongoing surveillance targets identified using Palantir software and a "probable offender" formula based on an LAPD points-based predictive
30 Sep 2018
In September 2018, the US Department of Homeland Security proposed to add credit scores and histories to the list of information immigrants are required to submit when applying for legal resident status. The stated purpose of the proposed rule is to bar those who might become a "public charge" from
27 Sep 2018
Canada began experiments introducing automated decision-making algorithms into its immigration systems to support evaluation of some of the country's immigrant and visitor applications in 2014. In a 2018 study, Citizen Lab and NewsDeeply found that AI's use was expanding despite concerns about bias
In 2012, Durham Constabulary, in partnership with computer science academics at Cambridge University, began developing the Harm Assessment Risk Tool (HART), an artificial intelligence system designed to predict whether suspects are at low, moderate, or high risk of committing further crimes in the
In a draft January 2018 report obtained by Foreign Policy and produced at the request of US Customs and Border Protection Commissioner Kevin McAleenan, the Department of Homeland Security called for continuous vetting of Sunni Muslim immigrants deemed to have "at-risk" profiles. Based on studying 25
30 Nov 2017
A report for the US National Academy of Sciences explains the methods used by a team of computer scientists to derive accurate, neighbourhood-level estimates of the racial, economic, and political characteristics of 200 US cities using the images collected by Google Street View in 2013 and 2014. The
Mothers of black, male teenagers in Chicago, fear their children will be added to the Chicago Police Department's gang database. As of the end of 2017, the database contains the names of 130,000 people, 90% of them black or Latino, who are suspected of being gang members. Most have never been
20 Dec 2017
Research from ProPublica in December 2017 found that dozens of companies, including Verizon, Amazon, and Target are using Facebook to target job ads to exclude older workers. Excluding older workers is illegal under US law, but Facebook's system allows advertisers to specify precisely who should see
A paper by Michael Veale (UCL) and Reuben Binns (Oxford), "Fairer Machine Learning in the Real World: Mitigating Discrimination Without Collecting Sensitive Data", proposes three potential approaches to deal with hidden bias and unfairness in algorithmic machine learning systems. Often, the cause is
In the remote western city Xinjiang, the Chinese government is using new technology and humans to monitor every aspect of citizens' lives. China, which has gradually increased restrictions in the region over the last ten years in response to unrest and violent attacks, blames the need for these
03 Sep 2016
In May 2014 the Polish Ministry of Labor and Social Policy (MLSP) introduced a scoring system to distribute unemployment assistance. Citizens are divided into three categories by their “readiness” to work, the place they live, disabilities and other data. Assignment to a given category determines
18 Oct 2016
A 2016 report, "The Perpetual Lineup", from the Center for Privacy and Technology at Georgetown University's law school based on records from dozens of US police departments found that African-Americans are more likely to have their images captured, analysed, and reviewed during computerised
20 May 2015
In 2015, a newly launched image recognition function built into Yahoo's Flickr image hosting site automatically tagged images of black people with tags such as "ape" and "animal", and also tagged images of concentration camps with "sport" or "jungle gym". The company responded to user complaints by
04 Feb 2013
In 2013, Harvard professor Latanya Sweeney found that racial discrimination pervades online advertising delivery. In a study, she found that searches on black-identifying names such as Revon, Lakisha, and Darnell are 25% more likely to be served with an ad from Instant Checkmate offering a
08 Apr 2016
In September 2016, the US Federal Trade Commission hosted a workshop to study the impact of big data analysis on poor people, whose efforts to escape poverty may be hindered by the extensive amounts of data being gathered about them. Among those who intensively surveil low-income communities are
10 May 2016
In 2016, VICE News discovered that the confidential and "shadowy" World-Check database, which has wrongly linked individuals to terrorist activity, was being widely used by British police and intelligence. Also a customer is the Charity Commission, which uses it to screen charities and aid
21 Mar 2016
By 2016, numerous examples had surfaced of bias in facial recognition systems that meant they failed to recognise non-white faces, labelled non-white people as "gorillas", "animals", or "apes" (Google, Flickr), told Asian users their eyes were closed when taking photographs (Nikon), or tracked white
05 Sep 2016
In September 2016, an algorithm assigned to pick the winners of a beauty contest examined selfies sent in by 600,000 entrants from India, China, the US, and all over Africa, and selected 44 finalists, almost all of whom were white. Of the six non-white finalists, all were Asian and only one had
08 Oct 2014
In the 2014 report "Networked Employment Discrimination", the Future of Work Project studied data-driven hiring systems, which often rely on data prospective employees have no idea may be used, such as the results of Google searches, and other stray personal data scattered online. In addition
23 May 2016
Computer programs that perform risk assessments of crime suspects are increasingly common in American courtrooms, and are used at every stage of the criminal justice systems to determine who may be set free or granted parole, and the size of the bond they must pay. By 2016, the results of these
07 May 2015
In 2014, India's newly elected prime minister, Narendra Modi, allocated INR70.6 billion (upwards of £750 million) to a plan called "100 Smart Cities". Although a year later the funding dropped to INR1.4 billion, smart city-themed conference continued to take place in Delhi and Mumbai, and urban
03 Apr 2018
In 2016, researchers discovered that the personalisation built into online advertising platforms such as Facebook is making it easy to invisibly bypass anti-discrimination laws regarding housing and employment. Under the US Fair Housing Act, it would be illegal for ads to explicitly state a
27 Mar 2017
A US House of Representatives oversight committee was told in March 2017 that photographs of about half of the adult US population are stored in facial recognition databases that can be accessed by the FBI without their knowledge or consent. In addition, about 80% of the photos in the FBI's network