“If Everybody’s White, There Can’t Be Any Racial Bias”: The Disappearance of Hispanic Drivers From Traffic Records


Article by Richard A. Webster: “When sheriff’s deputies in Jefferson Parish, Louisiana, pulled over Octavio Lopez for an expired inspection tag in 2018, they wrote on his traffic ticket that he is white. Lopez, who is from Nicaragua, is Hispanic and speaks only Spanish, said his wife.

In fact, of the 167 tickets issued by deputies to drivers with the last name Lopez over a nearly six-year span, not one of the motorists was labeled as Hispanic, according to records provided by the Jefferson Parish clerk of court. The same was true of the 252 tickets issued to people with the last name of Rodriguez, 234 named Martinez, 223 with the last name Hernandez and 189 with the surname Garcia.

This kind of misidentification is widespread — and not without harm. Across America, law enforcement agencies have been accused of targeting Hispanic drivers, failing to collect data on those traffic stops, and covering up potential officer misconduct and aggressive immigration enforcement by identifying people as white on tickets.

“If everybody’s white, there can’t be any racial bias,” Frank Baumgartner, a political science professor at the University of North Carolina of Chapel Hill, told WWNO/WRKF and ProPublica.

Nationally, states have tried to patch this data loophole and tighten controls against racial profiling. In recent years, legislators have passed widely hailed traffic stop data-collection laws in California, Colorado, Illinois, Oregon, Virginia and Washington, D.C. This April, Alabama became the 22nd state to enact similar legislation.

Though Louisiana has had its own data-collection requirement for two decades, it contains a loophole unlike any other state: It exempts law enforcement agencies from collecting and delivering data to the state if they have an anti-racial-profiling policy in place. This has rendered the law essentially worthless, said Josh Parker, a senior staff attorney at the Policing Project, a public safety research nonprofit at the New York University School of Law.

Louisiana State Rep. Royce Duplessis, D-New Orleans, attempted to remove the exemption two years ago, but law enforcement agencies protested. Instead, he was forced to convene a task force to study the issue, which thus far hasn’t produced any results, he said.

“They don’t want the data because they know what it would reveal,” Duplessis said of law enforcement agencies….(More)”.

Improving Consumer Welfare with Data Portability


Report by Daniel Castro: “Data protection laws and regulations can contain restrictive provisions, which limit data sharing and use, as well as permissive provisions, which increase it. Data portability is an example of a permissive provision that allows consumers to obtain a digital copy of their personal information from an online service and provide this information to other services. By carefully crafting data portability provisions, policymakers can enable consumers to obtain more value from their data, create new opportunities for businesses to innovate with data, and foster competition….(More)”.

Citizen Empowerment through Digital Transformation in Government


Book edited by Neeta Verma: “Technological innovations across the globe are bringing profound change to our society. Governments around the world are experiencing and embracing this technology-led shift. New platforms, emerging technologies, customizable products, and changing citizen demand and outlook towards government services are reshaping the whole journey. When it comes to the application of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) in any sector, the Government of India has emerged as an early adopter of these technologies and has also focused on last-mile delivery of citizen-centric services.

Citizen Empowerment through Digital Transformation in Government takes us through the four-decade long transformational journey of various key sectors in India where ICT has played a major role in reimagining government services to citizens across the country. It touches upon the emergence of the National Informatics Centre as a premier technology institution of the Government of India and its collaborative efforts with the Central, State Governments, as well as the District level administration, to deliver best-in-class solutions.

Inspiring and informative, the book is filled with real-life transformation stories that have helped to lead the people and the Government of India to realize their vision of a digitally empowered nation….(More)”

The Promise of Community-Driven Science


Article by Louise Lief: “Powered by thousands of early-career scientists and students, a global movement to transform scientific practice has emerged in recent years. The objective is to “expand the boundaries of what we consider science,” says Rajul Pandya, senior director of Thriving Earth Exchange at the American Geophysical Union (AGU), “to fundamentally transform science and the way we use it.”

These scientists have joined forces with community leaders and members of the public to establish new protocols and methods for doing community-driven science in an effort to make civic science even more inclusive and accessible to the public. Community science is an outgrowth of two earlier movements that emerged in response to the democratizing forces of the internet: open science, the push to make scientific research accessible and to encourage sharing and collaboration throughout the research cycle; and open data, the support for data that anyone can freely use, reuse, and share.

For open-science advocates, a reset of scientific practice is long overdue. For decades, the field has been dominated by what some experts call the “science-push” model, a top-down approach in which scientists decide which investigations to pursue, what questions to ask, how to do the science, and which results are significant. If members of the public are involved at all, they serve as research subjects or passive consumers of knowledge curated and presented to them by scientists.

The traditional approach to science has resulted in the public’s increasing distrust of scientists—their motives, values, and business interests. Science is a process that explores the world through observation and experiment, looking for evidence that may reveal larger patterns, often producing new discoveries. However, science itself does not decide the effects or outcomes of these results. The devastating opioid epidemic—in which manufacturers have aggressively promoted the highly addictive drugs, downplaying risks and misinforming doctors—has shown that the values and motives of those who practice science make all the difference.

Instead, open-science advocates believe science should be a joint enterprise between scientists and the public to demonstrate the value of science in people’s lives. Such collaboration will change the way scientists, communities, regulatory agencies, policy makers, academia, and funders work individually and collectively. Each player will be able to integrate science more easily into civic decision-making and target problems more efficiently and at lower costs. This collaborative work will create new opportunities for civic action and give the public a greater sense of ownership—making it their science….(More)”.

Evidence-Based Policymaking: What Human Service Agencies Can Learn from Implementation Science and Integrated Data Systems


Paper by Sharon Zanti & M. Lori Thomas: “The evidence-based policymaking movement compels government leaders and agencies to rely on the best available research evidence to inform policy and program decisions, yet how to do this effectively remains a challenge. This paper demonstrates how the core concepts from two emerging fields—Implementation Science (IS) and Integrated Data Systems (IDS)—can help human service agencies and their partners realize the aims of the evidence-based policymaking movement. An IS lens can help agencies address the role of context when implementing evidence-based practices, complement other quality and process improvement efforts, simultaneously study implementation and effectiveness outcomes, and guide de-implementation of ineffective policies. The IDS approach offers governance frameworks to support ethical and legal data use, provides high-quality administrative data for in-house analyses, and allows for more time-sensitive analyses of pressing agency needs. Ultimately, IS and IDS can support human service agencies in more efficiently using government resources to deliver the best available programs and policies to the communities they serve. Although this paper focuses on examples within the United States context, key concepts and guidance are intended to be broadly applicable across geographies, given that IS, IDS, and the evidence-based policymaking movement are globally relevant….(More)”.

Data Science and Official Statistics: Toward a New Data Culture


Essay by Stefan Schweinfest and Ronald Jansen: “In the digital age, data are generated continuously by many different devices and are being used by many different actors. National statistical offices (NSOs) should benefit from these opportunities to improve data for decision-making. What could be the expanding role for official statistics in this context and how does this relate to emerging disciplines like data science? This article explores some new ideas. In the avalanche of new data, society may need a data steward, and the NSO could take on that role, while paying close attention to the protection of privacy. Data science will become increasingly important for extracting meaningful information from large amounts of data. NSOs will need to hire data scientists and data engineers and will need to train their staff in these fast-developing fields. NSOs will also need to clearly communicate new and experimental data and foster a good understanding of statistics. Collaboration of official statistics with the private sector, academia, and civil society will be the new way of working and the fundamental principles of official statistics may have to apply to all those actors. This article envisions that we are gradually working toward such a new data culture…(More)”.

Business Data Sharing through Data Marketplaces: A Systematic Literature Review


Paper by Abbas, Antragama E., Wirawan Agahari, Montijn van de Ven, Anneke Zuiderwijk, and Mark de Reuver: “Data marketplaces are expected to play a crucial role in tomorrow’s data economy, but such marketplaces are seldom commercially viable. Currently, there is no clear understanding of the knowledge gaps in data marketplace research, especially not of neglected research topics that may advance such marketplaces toward commercialization. This study provides an overview of the state-of-the-art of data marketplace research. We employ a Systematic Literature Review (SLR) approach to examine 133 academic articles and structure our analysis using the Service-Technology-Organization-Finance (STOF) model. We find that the extant data marketplace literature is primarily dominated by technical research, such as discussions about computational pricing and architecture. To move past the first stage of the platform’s lifecycle (i.e., platform design) to the second stage (i.e., platform adoption), we call for empirical research in non-technological areas, such as customer expected value and market segmentation….(More)”.

The State of Open Data 2021


Report by Digital Science (Australia): “Since 2016, we have monitored levels of data sharing and usage. Over the years, we have had 21,000 responses from researchers worldwide providing unparalleled insight into their motivations, challenges, perceptions, and behaviours toward open data.

In our sixth survey, we asked about motivations as well as perceived discoverability and credibility of data that is shared openly. The State of Open Data is a critical piece of information that enables us to identify the barriers to open data from a researcher perspective, laying the foundation for future action. 

Key findings from this year’s survey

  • 73% support the idea of a national mandate for making research data openly available
  • 52% said funders should make the sharing of research data part of their requirements for awarding grants
  • 47% said they would be motivated to share their data if there was a journal or publisher requirement to do so
  • About a third of respondents indicated that they have reused their own or someone else’s openly accessible data more during the pandemic than before
  • There are growing concerns over misuse and lack of credit for open sharing…(More)”

Contracting and Contract Law in the Age of Artificial Intelligence



Book edited by Martin Ebers, Cristina Poncibò, and Mimi Zou: “This book provides original, diverse, and timely insights into the nature, scope, and implications of Artificial Intelligence (AI), especially machine learning and natural language processing, in relation to contracting practices and contract law. The chapters feature unique, critical, and in-depth analysis of a range of topical issues, including how the use of AI in contracting affects key principles of contract law (from formation to remedies), the implications for autonomy, consent, and information asymmetries in contracting, and how AI is shaping contracting practices and the laws relating to specific types of contracts and sectors.

The contributors represent an interdisciplinary team of lawyers, computer scientists, economists, political scientists, and linguists from academia, legal practice, policy, and the technology sector. The chapters not only engage with salient theories from different disciplines, but also examine current and potential real-world applications and implications of AI in contracting and explore feasible legal, policy, and technological responses to address the challenges presented by AI in this field.

The book covers major common and civil law jurisdictions, including the EU, Italy, Germany, UK, US, and China. It should be read by anyone interested in the complex and fast-evolving relationship between AI, contract law, and related areas of law such as business, commercial, consumer, competition, and data protection laws….(More)”.

Social Media and the Contemporary City


Book by Eric Sauda, Ginette Wessel and Alireza Karduni: “The widespread adoption of smartphones has led to an explosion of mobile social media data, more than a billion messages per day that continuously track location, content, and time. Social Media in the Contemporary City focuses on the effects of social media on local communities and urban space in a variety of political and economic settings related to social activism, informal economic activity, public art, and global extremism.

The book covers events ranging from Banksy art installations, mobile food trucks, and underground restaurants, to a Black Lives Matter protest, the Christchurch mosque shootings, and the Pulse nightclub shooting. The interplay between urban space, local community, and social media in each case study requires diverse methodologies that are both computational (i.e. machine learning, social network analysis, and natural language processing) and ethnographic (i.e. semi-structured interviews, thematic analysis, and site analysis). The book views social media not as a replacement for the local community or urban space but rather as a translation of the uses and meanings of all three realms….(More)”.