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Discrimination by Algorithm

Latanya Sweeney from the Data Privacy Lab at Harvard University and Alvaro Bedoya from the Center on Privacy and Technology at Georgetown University explain how big data algorithms can encode and disguise discrimination.

Sweeney and Bedoya outline a number of strategies to redress algorithmic injustice, including:

- Investing in the technical capacity of public interest lawyers, and developing a greater cohort of public interest technologists. With more engineers participating in policy debates and more policymakers who understand algorithms and big data, both government and civil society organizations will be stronger.

- Pressing for “algorithmic transparency.” By ensuring that the algorithms underpinning critical systems like public education and criminal justice are open and transparent, we can better understand their biases and fight for change.

- Exploring effective regulation of personal data. Current laws and regulations are out dated and provide relatively little guidance on how our data is utilized in the technologies we rely on every day. We can do better.

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