by Rachel Thomas

As governments consider new uses of technology, whether that be sensors on taxi cabspolice body cameras, or gunshot detectors in public places, this raises issues around surveillance of vulnerable populations, unintended consequences, and potential misuse. There are several principles to keep in mind in how these decisions can be made in a healthier and more responsible manner. It can be tempting to reduce debates about government adoption of technology into binary for/against narratives, but that fails to capture many crucial and nuanced aspects of these decisions.

We recently hosted the Tech Policy Workshop at the USF Center for Applied Data Ethics. One of the themes was how governments can promote the responsible use of technology. Here I will share some key recommendations that came out of these discussions.

  1. Listen to local communities
  2. Beware how NDAs obscure public sector process and law
  3. Security is not the same as safety
  4. Policy decisions should not be outsourced as design decisions

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