Blog Post

  • ITEM 10: How a Small Legal Aid Team Took on Algorithmic Black Boxing at Their State’s Employment Agency (And Won)

    In June 2022, Legal Aid of Arkansas won a significant victory in their ongoing work to compel Arkansas’ employment agency to disclose crucial details about how it uses automated decision-making systems to detect and adjudicate fraud. In August, I spoke with Legal Aid of Arkansas Senior Associate Attorney Trevor Hawkins and Director of Advocacy Kevin De Liban about what the decision means for unemployed workers and algorithmic transparency.

    • Artificial Intelligence and Human Rights

    • Open Government

    • Screening & Scoring

    • Analysis

  • A Look at EPIC’s Report to the FTC on Commercial Surveillance & Data Security

    EPIC recently published Disrupting Data Abuse, our initial report on the Federal Trade Commission's commercial surveillance rulemaking. The 230-page filing calls for rules on data minimization, algorithmic fairness, security, and more.

    • Artificial Intelligence and Human Rights

    • Consumer Privacy

    • Data Protection

    • Analysis

  • Greater Legal Protections Needed for Phone Geolocation Data

    Mobile carriers' responses to FCC inquiry further underscore the urgent need for Congress to enact laws that safeguard the privacy of Americans’ location data.

    • Communications Privacy

    • Consumer Privacy

    • Data Brokers

    • Data Protection

    • Location Tracking

    • Analysis

  • What’s in a name? A survey of strong regulatory definitions of automated decision-making systems

    With regulation and enforcement starting to take shape over AI and automated decision-making systems, it’s essential that we understand and build common definition(s) that can protect individuals today and in the future. EPIC believes an expansive definition of AI and automated decision-making is critical.

    • AI in the Criminal Justice System

    • AI Policy

    • Artificial Intelligence and Human Rights

    • Commercial AI Use

    • Government AI Use

    • Screening & Scoring

    • Analysis

  • The Rise of Chinese Surveillance Technology in Africa (Part 6 of 6)

    There is no robust empirical evidence that the adoption of Chinese surveillance tools results in the reduction of crime. The continual procurement of these tools despite lack of evidence of efficacy raises a series of questions: why are local elites interested in procuring these tools? To what extent do these tools empower new forms of governmentality? What are the hidden costs of adopting digital surveillance tools for Kenya and other African states?

    • Enforcement of Privacy Laws

    • Face Surveillance & Biometrics

    • International Privacy

    • International Privacy Laws

    • Privacy in Public

    • Privacy Laws

    • Surveillance Oversight

    • Analysis

  • AI Bill of Rights Provides Actionable Instructions for Companies, Agencies, and Legislators

    Last week, the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy released a “Blueprint” for an “AI Bill of Rights.”The five major principles are Safe and Effective Systems; Freedom from Algorithmic Discrimination; Data Privacy; Notice and Explanation; Human Alternatives, Consideration, and Fallback. EPIC published an Op-Ed in Protocol outlining specifically how the White House can act to enact the principles from the blueprint.

    • AI in the Criminal Justice System

    • AI Policy

    • Artificial Intelligence and Human Rights

    • Commercial AI Use

    • Government AI Use

    • Screening & Scoring

    • Analysis

  • The Rise of Chinese Surveillance Technology in Africa (part 5 of 6)

    Digital initiatives have widened the range of personal data collected by African states. In 2011, the Nairobi government employed a French company, Imprimerie Nationale, to create a biometric data system for their national identity card program. This digitization initiative was justified as a way to bolster tax recovery, streamline administrative processes, and strengthen national security priorities.

    • Face Surveillance & Biometrics

    • Government Databases

    • International Privacy

    • International Privacy Laws

    • Privacy in Public

    • Surveillance Oversight

    • Analysis

  • The Rise of Chinese Surveillance Technology in Africa (part 4 of 6)

    The spread of smart cities is a key area facilitating the spread of Chinese surveillance technology globally. Simply put, the smart city is a computational model of urban planning that purports to optimize operational efficacy and promote economic activity by utilizing Information and Communication Technology (ICT).  In 2018, the Kenyatta administration in Kenya announced the launch of the National Broadband Strategy, which was designed to advance access to broadband, but also serve as a foundational policy framework to implement smart city technology.

    • Anonymity

    • Face Surveillance & Biometrics

    • International Privacy

    • Privacy in Public

    • Surveillance Oversight

    • Analysis

  • Europe’s Digital Services Package: What It Means for Online Services and Big Tech

    The EU recently passed comprehensive legislation on platform monitoring, digital free speech, and antitrust, largely directed at Big Tech. On July 5, 2022, the European Parliament adopted the Digital Services Package, comprised of the Digital Markets Act (“DMA”) and the Digital Services Act (“DSA”) and first proposed by the European Commission in December 2020. The European Council of Ministers will sign the bills into law this September, and they will take effect in early 2024 (though Big Tech will have to comply within months of entry into force). The Digital Services Package is touted as a “global first,” promising to “safeguard[] freedom of expression and opportunities for digital businesses.” After years of growing tech reliance and tech consolidation, “Democracy is back.”

    • Access to Information

    • Data Security

    • International Privacy

    • International Privacy Laws

    • Online Harassment

    • Social Media Privacy

    • Analysis

  • The State of State AI Policy (2021-22 Legislative Session)

    Within the past year, many states and localities have passed or introduced bills regulating artificial intelligence or establishing commissions or task forces to seek transparency about the use of AI in their state or locality.

    • AI Policy

    • Artificial Intelligence and Human Rights

    • Analysis