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Submission + - Accidental discrimination through analytics? 1

Cludge writes: Describing concerns about the potential for big data methods to inadvertently classify people by race, religion, income or other forms of discrimination, the White House announced it will release a report next week that reviews the adequacy of existing privacy laws and regulations in the era of online data collection. The review, led by Obama's senior counselor, John Podesta, will outline concerns about whether methods used for commercial applications may be inherently vulnerable to inadvertent discrimination.

"He described a program called "Street Bump" in Boston that detected pot-holes using sensors in smartphones of citizens who had downloaded an app. The program inadvertently directed repair crews to wealthier neighborhoods, where people were more likely to carry smartphones and download the app."

"It's easy to imagine how big data technology, if used to cross legal lines we have been careful to set, could end up reinforcing existing inequities in housing, credit, employment, health and education," he said.
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Accidental discrimination through analytics?

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  • Re pot holes I might add an edit to the original post s/inadvertently/disproportionate/

    But they did fix pot holes. They could have installed the application on police vehicles
    to add input. Some would say that impoverished neighborhoods have a disproportionate
    of police presence... in the end it might balance.

1 Angstrom: measure of computer anxiety = 1000 nail-bytes