e.Woke #23: Taser & Police Surveillance

Welcome to e.Woke #23!

This week, we focus on how surveillance technology is biased. From doing media justice work, we recognize that objectivity doesn’t exist. There, objectivity will not exist in the technology itself. Learn more below!

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Taser Wants to Build an Army of Smartphone Informants

Surprise: tech companies have a big influence on policing. In Albuquerque, we’ve seen Evidence.com in action: it’s a cloud-based storage platform basically meant to crowdsource photos and videos. Taser, now known as Axon, is the world’s largest vendor of police-worn body cameras. (via The Intercept)

Big Data May Amplify Existing Police Surveillance Practices, Study Shows

In a study of the Los Angeles Police Department, research shows that “big data analytics amplifies and transforms police surveillance practices.” They identified the five ways that data creates shifts, including that big data helps police to surveil multiple people at once, in multiple ways, all at once. Also: beyond search warrants, there’s new ways for police to buy personal information.  (via UT News)

Technology Is Biased Too. How Do We Fix It?

So, data-fueled police technology isn’t going away. We need to be able to label the ways that algorithms are coded with the racial biases of their writers, and to talk about how technology is not the automatic solution. As the article lays out: there’s a whole new set of problems to solve. (via FiveThirtyEight)

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