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{{unknown}} As artificial intelligence becomes a more important part of the sytems we rely on for conducting business, the need for standards to guarantee accountability will grow.  A recent article reviews both the approach to such accountability...
{{unknown}} As we consider ways in which applications carry unintended social consequences, it is useful to think about deliberate attempts to have positive social impact. This makes the case of TARA as reported by BBC News a useful example.  The TARA (Talent Acquisition and Recruiting Automation) algorithm analyzes and ranks programmers' code...
{{unknown}} The European Commission has raised concerns about Yahoo's scanning of all customer's incoming emails for U.S. intelligence purposes. This is a first test case of the EU-US Privacy Shield agreement that allows companies to move Europeans' personal data seamlessly...
{{unknown}} {{unknown}} As reported in this article in the New York Times, the Obama administration has dramatically expanded the sharing of intercepted communications among U.S. intelligence agencies.  This will permit many more government officials to search through individual communications. Do we feel safer?   T...
The White House has issued a report on the possible impacts, both positive and negative, of the deployment of artificial intelligence.  Highlights of the report are summarized in a short article by Michael Feldman.  Among the issues of concern are the transformation and/or reduction in employment as AI, supported by big data and machine learning, replaces some or all human labor in transportation, health care, finance, defense and other sectors of the economy. While there will be g...
In an article on The Tyranny of Big Data Mark Buchanan identifies three approaches to reducing the dangers of the misuse of "big data" in contemporary society.  He notes that controlling how data is used, sharing access to data (particularly for those contributing the individual data), and making the decisions driven by data more transparent to those affected would each make misuse less likely.  What do you think of these approaches? Are they sufficient to guard against misuse? Are...
This article in the NY Times discusses the controversy at UC Berkeley over the university decision to monitor student and faculty online activity in the wake of hacker breaches of the university computer network.
If you are looking for a model of best practices for handling user data, you might look to libraries as this case of the library at the CUNY Graduate Center illustrates.  Librarians have long been concerned about protecting patron privacy, and they have developed practices and policies worth examining.
Check out this article in Forbes that lists the variety of ways in which physical privacy is being invaded both by employers and the government.
Senator Al Franken has posed a set of questions to Google regarding what it does with the personal data of students who use Google Apps for Education, according to this piece in re/code.