Perspective: How proper data can reduce algorithmic discrimination

(Nov 16, 2018) Self-learning algorithms are deployed in countless products and services throughout the digital ecosystem, but there have been lots of instances where those algorithms exacerbate discrimination. However, Lokke Moerel, Morrison & Foerster senior of counsel and Tilburg University professor, notes, "If self-learning algorithms discriminate, it is not because there is an error in the algorithm, but because the data used to train the algorithm are 'biased.' ... It is only when you know which data... Read More

Algorithms can reduce discrimination, but only with proper data

(Nov 16, 2018) If self-learning algorithms discriminate, it is not because there is an error in the algorithm, but because the data used to train the algorithm are “biased.” It is only when you know which data subjects belong to vulnerable groups that bias in the data can be made transparent and algorithms trained properly. The taboo against collecting such data should, therefore, be broken, as this is the only way to eliminate future discrimination. We often see in the news that the deployment of machine le... Read More

How big data and AI can spur global development goals

(Nov 16, 2018) As U.N. member states adopted the 2030 Agenda in 2015 and embraced the use of data to spur global development, a report for The Brookings Institution looks at the challenge of accessing high-quality, timely, accessible data in the countries most in need of development and how big data and artificial intelligence are “key elements” to fostering greater understanding. Pointing to case studies embracing technology, the authors write that as emerging technologies transform the core areas of data col... Read More

Op-ed: Statistics Canada should not forsake privacy for modernization

(Nov 16, 2018) In an op-ed for the Toronto Star, Jennifer Wells explains the problems with Statistics Canada’s efforts to collect the financial transaction data of 500,000 citizens. Wells cites the Statistics Act that was updated last December, which sought to emphasize transparent data stewardship. The author also understands Statistics Canada’s efforts to modernize the agency, while adding it should not come at the cost of privacy. “StatsCan has yet to satisfactorily explain why its demand for data should be... Read More

Denham: Canada's political parties need independent oversight

(Nov 16, 2018) U.K. Information Commissioner Elizabeth Denham said Canada’s political parties need independent oversight in regards to their data policies, CBC News reports. Denham said political parties need to be transparent over the ways they acquire data, and while those parties have their own internal data protection policies, they are simply not good enough. “If you don't have independent oversight, how can the public trust what's going on? Because then the parties are marking their own homework,” said D... Read More

Ex-Nationwide employee sentenced to six month in prison for accessing customer data

(Nov 15, 2018) A former Nationwide Accident Repair Services employee has been sentenced to six months in prison for the illegal access of customer records. The U.K. Information Commissioner’s Office handed down the punishment, the first ever under the Computer Misuse Act 1990. Mustafa Kasim used his colleagues’ login credentials to access thousands of customer records, including names, phone numbers and vehicle information. Kasim continued to do so even after he went to work for a different repair service. “Al... Read More

French football club's scouts illegally profiled potential players for five years

(Nov 15, 2018) Scouts for French football club Paris Saint-Germain illegally profiled players over a five-year period, CNN reports. Documents revealed the scouts racially profiled prospective players from 2013 to 2018. The scouting department used forms that contained a section where a player’s race could be listed, a violation of France’s laws on data collection. "At no time (club management) was aware of an ethnic monitoring within the scouting department or ever in possession of such a form," the club said ... Read More

AWS to open Italian data centers in early 2020

(Nov 15, 2018) Amazon Web Service announced it plans to open data centers in Italy in early 2020. Italy becomes the sixth region AWS will occupy in Europe, joining France, Germany, Ireland, the U.K. and Sweden, which will open up later this year. The AWS Europe (Milan) Region aims to allow Italian users to store data within the country and will help with EU General Data Protection Regulation compliance efforts. "We've been amazed with how Italian companies have invented on top of AWS thus far, but believe an A... Read More

Perspective: Why the ICO political campaign probe is significant shift for privacy

(Nov 15, 2018) Earlier this month, the U.K. Information Commissioner's Office released an update to its investigation of the use of personal data in political campaigns. Released Nov. 6, the report "found a disturbing disregard for voters’ personal privacy by players across the political campaigning ecosystem." And though digital campaigning isn't going anywhere, the ICO's investigation — led by Elizabeth Denham, current ICO commissioner and former privacy commissioner of British Columbia — has wide-ranging im... Read More

Why the ICO's probe of political campaigns is a significant shift for privacy

(Nov 15, 2018) In July 2018, the U.K. Information Commissioner’s Office released its first report on the use of personal data in political campaigns. As Colin noted in his Privacy Perspectives post last July,  "Democracy Disrupted" outlined the scale and complexity of the issue, made a series of policy recommendations and signaled the ongoing investigations into a variety of organizations. Its overall purpose was to pull back the curtain on voter analytics and shed some light on the technological and organizat... Read More