Data & Society Signs Joint Letter to NYC Mayor on Automated Decision Systems Task Force

On January 22nd, danah boyd and Janet Haven of Data & Society co-signed a letter, along with a coalition of actors, to offer recommendations to Mayor Bill de Blasio of New York City regarding appointments to the new Automated Decision System Task Force (NYC). Read the full letter here.

NYC City Council legislation created this task force to provide recommendations for transparency and accountability regarding government use of algorithmic systems. The bill passed in December 2017 and became law this month. Data & Society sees the integrity and efficacy of this task force as important both within and beyond New York City because its prospective findings and recommendations will likely serve as a national or international model for other cities and states.

Institutional affiliations of the individuals signing on to the joint letter include: AI Now Institute; BetaNYC; Brennan Center for Justice at NYU School of Law; CAIR-NY; Center for Democracy & Technology; Center for IT Policy; Code for America’s National Agenda Council; Data for Black Lives; Data Responsibility; Data & Society; Drexel University; The Legal Aid Society; New York Civil Liberties Union; and Princeton University. The joint letter offers initial recommendations on:

  1. Issue and subject matter expertise that should be represented on the task force;
  2. City agencies and staff that should be appointed or directed to cooperate with the task force;
  3. Organizations, institutions, and individuals that should be appointed;
  4. Considerations regarding transparency and conflicts of interest.

The task force is required to present the Mayor of New York City, and ultimately the public, with:

  • Recommendations on identifying automated decision systems in New York City government,
  • Developing procedures identifying and remedying harm,
  • Developing a process for public review, and
  • Assessing the feasibility of archiving automated decision systems and relevant data.

For continued updates on this matter, follow #NYCalgorithms and @datasociety on Twitter.

Join the ConversationNew York City residents can reach out to the Mayor and City Council with their own thoughts in several ways:

  • Tweet @NYCMayor about the Automated Decision System Task Force with the hashtag #NYCalgorithms
  • Call 311 to have a letter to the Mayor about the Automated Decision System Task Force transcribed and sent for free
  • Write City Hall: Mayor Bill de Blasio, City Hall, New York, NY 10007