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Civil rights

Some of society’s most important decisions are being made automatically, and there’s no guarantee they’re being made fairly. The shift to algorithmic decision-making has opened up a new front in the fight for civil rights, one algorithm at a time. Algorithms are choosing who can rent an apartment and whether an accused criminal gets bail, with little accountability for whether those decisions are being made fairly. As police and border agents embrace facial recognition, a simple shift in error rates can result in massive racial disparities in the people getting searched. And in every instance, the agencies responsible will point to automation as a reason why no bias could be present. That push for algorithmic accountability is one of the most important fights in technology today, with implications for nearly every industry and sector of society. This is where we’ll track those fights and try to shine a light on the chilling new threat to civil rights.

In a still from a police body camera videoclip, we see a man being pulled from a car.

Police body cameras don’t tell the whole story. This experiment shows it.

Intent is in the eye of the beholder

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The NYPD uses altered images in its facial recognition system, new documents show

New York City’s algorithm task force is fracturing

A new bill would force companies to check their algorithms for bias

Facebook’s ad delivery could be inherently discriminatory, researchers say

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HUD reportedly also investigating Google and Twitter in housing discrimination probe

Facebook has been charged with housing discrimination by the US government

Facebook drops targeting options for housing, job, and credit ads after controversy

A technology expert gives four suggestions on how to rein in algorithms

Snap reportedly settled with women who alleged discrimination after layoffs

Nevada Senator takes on racial ad targeting in new data privacy bill

NYCLU sues ICE over changes to immigrant risk assessment algorithm

Black Tesla factory workers describe racism and discrimination, NYT reports

The US government alleges Facebook enabled housing ad discrimination