Professor Andrew Guthrie Ferguson discusses how predictive policing has been shown to be an ineffective and biased policing tool. Yet, the Department of Justice has been funding the crime surveillance and analysis technology for years and continues to do so despite criticism from researchers, privacy advocates and members of Congress. Guthrie’s research reveals an entire ecosystem of how technology companies, police departments and academics benefit from the flow of federal dollars for these surveillance technologies.
The buried children have been haunting Catherine Morris. She states it’s difficult to celebrate the turning of the year while thousands of children remain lost in the rubble of humanitarian catastrophes caused by disasters, political turmoil, and armed conflicts around the world. In 2023, apocalyptic stories of children and families lost through earthquakes, landslides, wildfires, atrocities, and war crimes filled the news. The Middle East and Ukraine dominated headlines while Afghanistan, Myanmar, and other places were pushed from attention. An insistent question began to intrude. “What if it was your kids under the rubble?” In late November 2023 this question suddenly came close to my family.
Sabrina I. Pacifici is curating sources for their relevance and relationship to this site’s Israel-Hamas War Project articles. The first article on this subject can be read here. Until recent weeks there was a dearth of publicly available information about the scope of sexual violence perpetrated by Hamas. But a New York Times article headline dated December 28, 2023 – “How Hamas Weaponized Sexual Violence on Oct. 7” – focused public attention on the facts. My updated article includes links and abstracts to 12 additional sources that provide corroborating testimonies, some in graphic detail, of the sexual violence committed against the initial victims, as well as against released hostages who have shared their experiences from their time in captivity.
Nabiha Syed is the chief executive officer of The Markup. She interviews Dr. Joy Buolamwini who has been thinking about collective harm and AI for years, especially when it comes to algorithmic accountability and justice. Her new book, “Unmasking AI: My Mission to Protect What Is Human in a World of Machines,” is a must-read exploration of how broad swaths of humanity are vulnerable in a world that is rapidly adopting AI tools. We, like Buolamwini, are optimists: We can demand a better path than the one we’re on, but that requires us thinking collectively, participating, and innovating in a different way than we have in the past.
Ese Olumhense a reporter at The Markup gives us an overview of how the International Association of Chiefs of Police brings police leadership and tech vendors together at its annual conference, where clear trends about the future of law enforcement emerged.
An interview by Ryan Tate with the New York Times reporter and long time privacy journalist Kashmir Hill on how investigating Clearview AI helped her appreciate facial recognition—and envision a chaotic future.
Privacy and cybersecurity issues impact every aspect of our lives – home, work, travel, education, finance, health and medical records – to name but a few. On a weekly basis Pete Weiss highlights articles and information that focus on the increasingly complex and wide ranging ways technology is used to compromise and diminish our privacy and online security, often without our situational awareness. Six highlights from this week: LinkedIn Phishing Scam Exploits Smart Links to Steal Microsoft Accounts; Digital Dystopia – The Danger in Buying What the EdTech Surveillance Industry is Selling; Login.gov to add facial recognition tech; Temporary moratorium on use of facial recognition in NY; The Fake Browser Update Scam Gets a Makeover; and How to Spot and Avoid Zelle Scams in 2023.
Crime predictions generated for the police department in Plainfield, New Jersey, rarely lined up with reported crimes, an analysis by The Markup has found, adding new context to the debate over the efficacy of crime prediction software. Geolitica, known as PredPol until a 2021 rebrand, produces software that ingests data from crime incident reports and produces daily predictions on where and when crimes are most likely to occur. Aaron Sankin, Investigative Reporter and Surya Mattu, Senior Data Engineer and Investigative Data Journalist examined 23,631 predictions generated by Geolitica between Feb. 25 to Dec. 18, 2018 for the Plainfield Police Department (PD). Each prediction they analyzed from the company’s algorithm indicated that one type of crime was likely to occur in a location not patrolled by Plainfield PD. In the end, the success rate was less than half a percent. Fewer than 100 of the predictions lined up with a crime in the predicted category, that was also later reported to police.
Privacy and cybersecurity issues impact every aspect of our lives – home, work, travel, education, finance, health and medical records – to name but a few. On a weekly basis Pete Weiss highlights articles and information that focus on the increasingly complex and wide ranging ways technology is used to compromise and diminish our privacy and online security, often without our situational awareness. Four highlights from this week: Appeals Court Upholds Public.Resource.Org’s Right to Post Public Laws and Regulations Online; Hackers Are Salivating Over Electric Cars; and How Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa Target You With Ads.
On August 30th each year the world is reminded that hundreds of thousands of people in at least 85 countries don’t know where their loved ones are, or even whether they are alive or dead. For the victims of enforced disappearance and their families, every day is the Day of the Disappeared. The unrelenting uncertainty and anguish of not knowing the truth of what has happened to their family member is a recognized form of torture for both the disappeared and their families. The crime of enforced disappearance cuts off the disappeared from any access to legal representation or judicial remedies – they are placed “outside all protection of the law.” “Rampant” global impunity for enforced disappearance has led the United Nations (UN) Secretary-General, António Guterres, and UN bodies to call on all countries to ratify or accede to the Convention for the Protection of all Persons against Enforced Disappearances (Convention or ICPPED). Catherine Morris brings much needed attention to the fact that of the UN’s 193 countries, only 72 have ratified or acceded to the Convention. Canada and the United States (US) are not yet among them. The unrelenting uncertainty and anguish of not knowing the truth of what has happened to their family member is a recognized form of torture for both the disappeared and their families. The crime of enforced disappearance cuts off the disappeared from any access to legal representation or judicial remedies – they are placed “outside all protection of the law.”