Since its start in the summer of 2021, the Racism and Technology Center has undertaken four types of activities.
We are building a knowledge database, keeping abreast of anything that is happening on the intersection between racism and technology. We follow this in five broad themes: Algorithmic Bias, Artificial Intelligence, Facial Recognition and Biometrics, Police and Law Enforcement, and Social Media and Platforms. Next to those themes, we also tag the links with whether they relate to a particular company (e.g. Twitter, to fields like education, healthcare or labour, and whether they are about the European Union or the Netherlands. The database can be searched and used by anybody.
Tracking what is happening feeds into a freely available newsletter that gets send out every four weeks. In this newsletter, we pick about three news stories to contextualize with our own writing, present an example of racist technology in action and list all the events on this topic that will be hosted in the next four weeks. An archive of previous newsletters is available online.
We shape public opinion by participating in the public debate. One example is our work around the racist impact of online proctoring (software that is used to monitor students when they take remote exams). We wrote an opinion piece, arguing that the practice should be banned. This led to questions in Parliament about the practice, and a response from the Minister of Education saying that “large-scale use of online proctoring should be avoided.” Our work also brought us in touch with a student who suffered the negative consequences of the racial bias of the software. We have worked with her to file a complaint with the College voor de Rechten van de Mens (our National Human Rights Institute).
Giving introductory presentations about the intersection between racism and technology. For example for the ASVA Studentenunie, at the A.R.T Symposium, at Pakhuis de Zwijger, at NEMO, in the podcast about the Big Brother Awards, and on television, for Atlas.