Citizen Lab Senior Research Fellow Jason Q. Ng will attend the  New York University (NYU) Robert L. Bernstein’s Institute of Human Rights’ 2016 conference on the “Tyranny of the Algorithm? Predictive Analytics and Human Rights.” The conference will be held on March 21-22, at the NYU School of Law in New York City, and focuses on the advances in information and communications technology, particularly the “datafication” of individual group behaviour now being used to assess risks by governments worldwide. The conference will examine the capacity of human rights practitioners to  evaluate and challenge risk assessments made through predictive analytics by governments worldwide, such as the use of police “hot-spots” on data related to past crime, and judges’ use of data-driven analytics to determine if an individual will act violently and thus be detained before trial.

Jason Q. Ng will speak on a Case-study Panel titled “Predictive Analytics for Crime Prevention and Social Control,” and will be joined by Sarah Brayne, Post-doctoral Researcher at Microsoft Research, Frank Romo, Data Analyst at Million Hoodies for Justice, and Peter Sloly, Deputy Chief of the Toronto Police.

Panel Abstract:

“Police in different parts of the world are using data-driven risk assessment tools for crime prevention and social control. In open societies, it is hoped these tools will predict and help prevent violence before it happens. Under repressive regimes, the same tools are being adopted to monitor and control risks of social unrest. Serious concerns have been raised about the disparate impact of these tools on marginalized communities. This panel looks at the human rights challenges of data-driven risk assessment for crime prevention and social control, and explores whether the participation of policed communities can help mitigate these challenges in some contexts.”

Read the full conference details.