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Daily Archives: August 25, 2021

The Secret Bias Hidden in Mortgage-Approval Algorithms

The MarkUp: “Nationally, loan applicants of color were 40%–80% more likely to be denied than their White counterparts In certain metro areas, the disparity was greater than 250%… An investigation by The Markup has found that lenders in 2019 were more likely to deny home loans to people of color than to White people with similar financial characteristics—even when we controlled for newly available financial factors that the mortgage industry for years has said would explain racial disparities in lending. Holding 17 different factors steady in a complex statistical analysis of more than two million conventional mortgage applications for home purchases, we found that lenders were 40 percent more likely to turn down Latino applicants for loans, 50 percent more likely to deny Asian/Pacific Islander applicants, and 70 percent more likely to deny Native American applicants than similar White applicants. Lenders were 80 percent more likely to reject Black applicants than similar White applicants. These are national rates. In every case, the prospective borrowers of color looked almost exactly the same on paper as the White applicants, except for their race…”

Facial Recognition Technology: Current and Planned Uses by Federal Agencies

Facial Recognition Technology: Current and Planned Uses by Federal Agencies GAO-21-526 Published: Aug 24, 2021. “Recent advancements in facial recognition technology have increased its accuracy and its usage. Our earlier work has included examinations of its use by federal law enforcement, at ports of entry, and in commercial settings. For this report, we surveyed 24… Continue Reading

Google’s “About This Result” Panel Offers Insight into your Search Results

Wisblawg: “Have you ever been puzzled by the results from a Google search?  Found yourself wondering how Google connected those results to the words you typed, especially if you didn’t get exactly what you were expecting to find?  Fortunately, the newly enhanced About This Result panel offers some contextual insight into your search results. To view… Continue Reading

Jan. 6 select committee sweeping records request to NARA and federal agencies

“Today, Chairman Bennie G. Thompson announced the Select Committee’s first round of demands for records as the committee expands its investigation into the January 6th violent attack on the U.S. Capitol and its causes. In letters to the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) and seven other Executive Branch agencies, Chairman Thompson renewed and expanded… Continue Reading

New State of the Climate report confirmed 2020 among three warmest years in records

“…New high temperature records were set across the globe. The report found that the major indicators of climate change continued to reflect trends consistent with a warming planet. Several markers such as sea level, ocean heat content, and permafrost once again broke records set just one year prior. Notably, carbon dioxide (CO2) levels in the… Continue Reading

The Impacts of the COVID-19 Pandemic on State & Local Courts Study 2021

“A new report from the Thomson Reuters Institute looks at how the global pandemic impacted the nation’s court system around remote hearings, legal technology, case backlogs, and access to justice When the COVID-19 pandemic completely upended the world, it also upended the nation’s courts system. Courthouses closed, proceedings were halted, and judicial life came to… Continue Reading

Wither Law Student Information Literacy?

Kim-Prieto, Dennis, Wither Law Student Information Literacy? (July 13, 2021). Kim-Prieto, Dennis Wither law student information literacy? Botte, Alexander [Hrsg.]; Libbrecht, Paul [Hrsg.]; Rittberger, Marc [Hrsg.]: Learning Information Literacy across the Globe. Frankfurt am Main, May 10th 2019. Frankfurt am Main : DIPF 2021, S. 104-113, Available at SSRN: “Information Literacy has only recently… Continue Reading

Now that machines can learn, can they unlearn?

Ars Technica – Researchers see if they can remove sensitive data without retraining AI from scratch: “Companies of all kinds use machine learning to analyze people’s desires, dislikes, or faces. Some researchers are now asking a different question: How can we make machines forget? A nascent area of computer science dubbed machine unlearning seeks ways… Continue Reading

How Data Brokers Sell Access to the Backbone of the Internet

Motherboard: “ISPs are quietly distributing “netflow” data that can, among other things, trace traffic through VPNs. There’s something of an open secret in the cybersecurity world: internet service providers quietly give away detailed information about which computer is communicating with another to private businesses, which then sells access to that data to a range of… Continue Reading

Don’t stick a fork in books yet

Teleread, Felix Pleşoianu: “I just came across an excellent write-up called How to Fork a Book: The Radical Transformation of Publishing. “Forking” is a term borrowed from open source software, whose license allows anyone to make their own modified versions that diverge from the original, taking it in another direction, like a fork in a… Continue Reading