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Asees Kaur on the Invisible Biases of Predictive Policing Systems | Meta India Tech Scholars 2021-22

Kaur’s main finding was that predictive policing systems have the potential to exemplify pre-existing social biases

“The use of predictive analytical tools has steadily increased over the past two years. However, when these tools are being used by law enforcement agencies and the policies, the consequences on our fundamental rights can be grave,” argued Asees Kaur in her research presentation for the Meta India Tech Scholars program (MITS). “These systems in India have been implemented without any safeguards. My main finding was that predictive policing systems have the potential to exemplify [pre-existing social] biases.”

Kaur, a student at the West Bengal National University of Juridical Sciences, Kolkata, explored the varied biases of predictive policing systems. Fed by skewed data, their ‘predictions’ often end up further targeting historically criminalised communities. The solution: ensuring that the principles of transparency and accountability shape the deployment of these systems. 

MediaNama has collaborated with the Meta India Tech Scholars program to bring to you the tech policy research its fellows investigated over the last year. The fellows investigated critical issues of tech policy to understand how they impact and influence India’s tryst with technology. Kaur is a tech policy enthusiast who wants to explore the impact of technologies from a gendered perspective and within their socio-cultural contexts. She was also part of a team that presented recommendations before the Joint Parliamentary Committee deliberating the Personal Data Protection Bill, 2019, in an attempt to strengthen India’s standards for data security.

Meta launched this program to provide a research and mentorship platform to law students who are keen to engage on contemporary questions of technology, law, and policy. The law firm Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas & Co. (SAM) is supporting the program as a knowledge partner.

Disclaimer: The title, presentation, research, views and other work associated with this paper are solely those of the author. The same do not and are not meant to represent the views, positions or opinions of Meta, any of its affiliates and / or personnel.

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I'm interested in stories that explore how countries use the law to govern technology—and what this tells us about how they perceive tech and its impacts on society. To chat, for feedback, or to leave a tip: aarathi@medianama.com

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