Collaborating Authors

U.N. Panel: Digital Technology in Policing Can Reinforce Racial Bias – Digitalmunition


Governments need an abrupt change of direction to avoid "stumbling zombielike into a digital welfare dystopia," Philip G. Alston, a human rights expert reporting on poverty, told the United Nations General Assembly last year, in a report calling for the regulation of digital technologies, including artificial intelligence, to ensure compliance with human rights. The private companies that play an increasingly dominant role in social welfare delivery, he noted, "operate in a virtually human-rights-free zone." Last month, the U.N. expert monitoring contemporary forms of racism flagged concerns that "governments and nonstate actors are developing and deploying emerging digital technologies in ways that are uniquely experimental, dangerous, and discriminatory in the border and immigration enforcement context." The European Border and Coast Guard Agency, also called Frontex, has tested unpiloted military-grade drones in the Mediterranean and Aegean for the surveillance and interdiction of vessels of migrants and refugees trying to reach Europe, the expert, E. Tendayi Achiume, reported. The U.N. antiracism panel, which is charged with monitoring and holding states to account for their compliance with the international convention on eliminating racial discrimination, said states must legislate measures combating racial bias and create independent mechanisms for handling complaints.

For the EU to effectively address racial injustice, we need data

Al Jazeera

Protests against racial injustice and the COVID-19 pandemic have exposed racial inequalities rife within social and economic systems around the world. Fed up with police brutality and systemic racism against African Americans and other racialised groups, people staged protests against racial injustice in all 50 states across the United States. Anti-racism protests also took place across European capitals including London, Dublin, Amsterdam, and Berlin, and cries for racial justice ricocheted around the world. While these uprisings were sparked by the police killing of an unarmed Black man, George Floyd, the outpouring of pain and anger in the midst of the COVID-19 global pandemic is about so much more. White supremacy is, of itself, a lethal public health issue that predates and exacerbates the impacts of COVID-19.

Site for neighborhood groups moves to stop racial profiling

U.S. News

A popular San Francisco-based website meant for neighborhood groups across the country to share recommendations on dog-sitters or pass along used baby clothes said it is stepping up efforts to block people from using the tool for racial profiling. Residents of racially diverse Oakland say the website that allows communities to trade tips and build ties online also has been used as a platform to single out black people and other minorities without cause. People on the site warn of "suspicious activity," for example, even if it is just two African-American men sitting in a car. Nextdoor, a 5-year-old site that says it is used by 98,000 neighborhoods nationwide, has changed its rules so that users can no longer post warnings simply about people they deem suspicious looking, company chief executive Nirav Tolia told Oakland officials and residents Tuesday night. Instead, the site now requires users to describe the allegations of criminal behavior before describing suspects, the San Francisco Chronicle reported (

Top French court asked to make history, issue first ruling on racial profiling

The Japan Times

PARIS – A lawyer who claims French police carried out unjustified identity checks on 13 black and Arab men based only on their racial profiles asked the country's highest court Tuesday to "make history" and rule for the first time that officers acted illegally. Activist groups hope the much-awaited decision will end what they call routine discrimination by police against minorities. Ethnically biased ID checks have long been cited as a prime reason for troubled relations between police and residents of poor suburbs. Lawyer Thomas Lyon-Caen told the Cour de Cassation the ID checks in 2011 and 2012 violated the basic rights of his 13 clients and were discriminatory because a democratic state cannot "link delinquency to skin color." He said a study conducted by France's National Center for Scientific Research has shown that blacks have 12 times more chance of being checked by police than whites, and those of Arab origin have 15 times more chance.

TSA Screening Guidelines: Agency Knows Method Is Unscientific And Uses Racial Profiling, ACLU Says

International Business Times

The Transportation Security Administration's (TSA) behavior detection program is under scrutiny by a new report released by the American Civil Liberties Union Wednesday. The nonprofit said the TSA knows the screening tactics used by the agency are "unscientific" and "unreliable." Through the detection program, TSA officials nationwide look out for behaviors that are associated with fear, stress or deception. However, the tactics have been linked to racial profiling, according to the report. The analysis comes after President Donald Trump's immigration executive order barring individuals from seven predominantly-Muslim countries from entering the United States.