JEDII Tech News: February 26

Update, November 2021: most of the semi-regular "tech news roundups" I did in early 2021 are now hidden.  This top story on this one, though, relates to the the Washington privacy battle so I decided to leave it up.  

‘This is bigger than just Timnit’: How Google tried to silence a critic and ignited a movement

By Katharine Schwab on Fast Company (

Big Tech has used its power to control the field of AI ethics and avoid accountability. Now, the ouster of Timnit Gebru is putting the movement for equitable tech in the spotlight.

ICE investigators used a private utility database covering millions to pursue immigration violations

By Drew Harwell on The Washington Post (

ICE’s use of the vast database offers another example of how government agencies have targeted commercial sources to access information they are not authorized to compile on their own. One researcher called it “a massive betrayal of people’s trust”: “When you sign up for electricity, you don’t expec…

New York Times Columnist David Brooks Wrote A Blog Post For Facebook’s Corporate Website

By Craig Silverman on BuzzFeed News (

Brooks also appeared in a Facebook-produced video panel used to promote an NYU study of Facebook Groups funded by the social media giant.

Bias, disrespect, and demotions: Black employees say Amazon has a race problem

By Jason Del Rey on Vox (

Interviews with diversity managers and internal data obtained by Recode find that Black Amazon employees are promoted less frequently and are rated more harshly than non-Black peers.

Schools Are Abandoning Invasive Proctoring Software After Student Backlash


Proctorio has cashed in on remote learning since the start of the pandemic. Now, some schools are abandoning the company’s controversial software.

What is an “algorithm”? It depends whom you ask

By Kristian Lum on MIT Technology Review (

For better accountability, we should shift the focus from the design of these systems to their impact.

The Best Law You’ve Never Heard Of

By Shira Ovide on NYTimes (

Taking back control of our personal data can feel like a lost cause. But there’s hope!

Covid Vaccine Websites Violate Disability Laws, Create Inequity for the Blind

By Lauren Weber, Hannah Recht on Kaiser Health News (

A KHN investigation found covid vaccine registration and information websites at the federal, state and local levels are flouting disability rights laws and limiting the ability of people who are b…

Stars, influencers get paid to boost Duterte propaganda, fake news

By Camille Elemia on Rappler (

Internal documents from Twinmark Media Enterprises, the agency banned by Facebook for coordinated fake behavior, show how the power of celebrities is used for money and disinformation

2020 Ranking Digital Rights Corporate Accountability Index

on Ranking Digital Rights (

A comprehensive ranking of top tech and telecom companies’ disclosed policies and practices affecting people’s rights to freedom of expression and privacy.

Michael Tubbs on disinformation, racism, and news deserts

By Akintunde Ahmad on Columbia Journalism Review (

In 2017, Michael Tubbs made history as the youngest and first Black mayor of Stockton, California, home to some three hundred thousand people and considered the most diverse city in America. A graduate of Stanford University, Tubbs began his political career on the city council of Stockton, his h…

CITP Seminar: Woodrow Hartzog - A Duty of Loyalty for Privacy Law

on Center for Information Technology Policy (

Data privacy law fails to stop companies from engaging in self-serving, opportunistic behavior at the expense of those who trust them with their data. Academics and policymakers have recently proposed a possible ...

The End Of Student Privacy? Remote Proctoring’s Invasiveness and Bias

on Mobilizon (

On Saturday, March 6th, from 1:00 – 4:30 pm ET, please join the Surveillance Technology Oversight Project (S.T.O.P.) and Privacy Lab (an initiative of the Information Society Project at Yale Law School…

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