Competing interests and underdeveloped policy for open source data

Article: Weaving Together the Strands of Big Data Policy and Practice in Local Government

“…In the area of constitutional law, such a concept [inadvertent bias of algorithms] might take on particular significance in cities. If a city has the big data available to analyze its transportation network to improve traffic flow and retime traffic lights, what are its liabilities if analysis of this public data also reveals that it is systematically underserving its Hispanic or Black residents? What is the legal obligation of the city? Such an analysis might be even more critical if—as in the case of at least one city—the city has turned over public functions to private sector companies using big data. If Altamonte Springs, Florida subsidizes Uber rides instead of purchasing city buses, what is the city’s obligation if Uber is demonstrably underserving that city’s African American or Hispanic residents?” Cheryl Leanza and Joseph van Eaton

For more on algorithms see TedTalk by Kevin Slavin on ‘How Algorithms Shape Our World

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