Green’s paper receives Privacy Papers for Policymakers Award

January 13, 2022

The Future of Privacy Forum (FPF) recently awarded Ben Green, assistant professor and postdoctoral scholar, the Privacy Papers for Policymakers Award. The award is for Green’s paper, “The Flaws of Policies Requiring Human Oversight of Government Algorithms.”

Green’s paper looks at two significant downfalls of human oversight of government algorithms and proposes “a more stringent approach for determining whether and how to incorporate algorithms into government decision-making.” 

“First, evidence suggests that people are unable to perform the desired oversight functions. Second, as a result of the first flaw, human oversight policies legitimize government uses of faulty and controversial algorithms without addressing the fundamental issues with these tools. Thus, rather than protect against the potential harms of algorithmic decision-making in government, human oversight policies provide a false sense of security in adopting algorithms and enable vendors and agencies to shirk accountability for algorithmic harms,” he writes.

The Privacy Papers for Policymakers Award recognizes the year’s leading privacy research and analytical work pertinent to policymakers both nationally and internationally. The awarded work is included in Privacy Papers for Policymakers Digest, which highlights work that looks at privacy issues and presents real-world policy solutions. 

“Policymakers and regulators in many countries are working to advance data protection laws, often seeking in particular to combat discrimination and unfairness,” FPF CEO Jules Polonetsky was quoted in the press release. “FPF is proud to highlight independent researchers tackling big questions about how individuals and society relate to technology and data.”

The Future of Privacy Forum “brings together industry, academics, consumer advocates, and other thought leaders to explore the challenges posed by technological innovation. FPF works with organizations and governments to shape best practices and policies, in the United States and globally.”

Read the entirety of Green’s paper here and the Future of Privacy Forum’s press release here.