Our Work

We drive policy outcomes and spark debate through reports, scholarly articles, regulatory comments, direct advocacy efforts together with coalition allies, articles and op-eds, and participation in events including public panels, conferences, and workshops. Here's a selection of our recent work.

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Panel with Miranda Bogen | 29 January 2018
State of the Net 2018: Is the Internet Disrupting Democracy?

Miranda moderates a discussion with panelists from Facebook and the Federal Election Commission about voting technology, online election advertising, and internet freedom. VIDEO

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panel with Miranda Bogen | 14 November 2017
#LegalHack Body Worn Cameras

Miranda joins DC Legal Hackers and the Lab@DC to discuss trends in body worn camera technology and policy, pros and cons to various implementation models, and privacy risks and costs.

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Community Meeting with Harlan Yu | 24 October 2017
DC Community Conversation: Results of the Body-Worn Camera Study

Upturn — together with the DC Metropolitan Police and The Lab @ DC — hosts two community conversations to discuss the results of a recent DC body-worn camera study, which showed that the District’s camera program had no statistically significant effect on officer behavior.

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panel with Aaron Rieke | 15 September 2017
Commercial Use of the Internet and Other Communications Media

At an event hosted by Dialogue on Diversity, Aaron talks about the nexus of commercial data collection and civil rights, including racially-targeted and predatory internet advertising.

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panel with Harlan Yu | 02 May 2017
Police Body Cameras: Building Effective Guidelines That Support Accountability and Civil Liberties

The Charles Koch Institute, The Constitution Project, and Upturn jointly co-host an evening panel to discuss pressing policy issues related to police body-worn cameras, including public access to footage and the potential use of face recognition.

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panel with Aaron Rieke | 27 April 2017
Algorithms and Explanations

At the NYU School of Law, Aaron talks about how and when credit scores can be explained, and the reasons for startling disparities in credit scores among different protected groups.

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panel with Miranda Bogen | 14 April 2017
Who Constructs the Future? Activating Citizen Leadership

At the Hometown Summit, Miranda discusses how advocacy around body-worn camera policies might provide a model for local citizen engagement at a conference for city officials, community organizers and artists working to rethink democracy and empower citizens to shape the future of their cities.

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panel with Harlan Yu | 01 April 2017
Over-Policed and Under Protected: Technology, Law Enforcement and Minorities

The Harvard Human Rights Journal’s annual symposium explores the disproportionate impact of law enforcement surveillance on minority communities both at home and abroad.

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panel with Harlan Yu | 20 March 2017
New Platforms of Control (or Someone to Watch Over Me)

The 2017 Princeton–Fung Global Forum in Berlin asks the question: “Can Liberty Survive the Digital Age?” Harlan joins a distinguished line-up of speakers including Vint Cerf, one of the “fathers of the Internet.” VIDEO

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panel with Aaron Rieke | 16 February 2017
Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Field Hearing on Alternative Data

In Charleston, WV, Aaron explores the risks and benefits of new types of credit data for historically disadvantaged groups.

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talk by Aaron Rieke | 07 February 2017
Data, Algorithmic Power, and the Changing Nature of Work

At the Roosevelt Insitute in New York, Aaron presents to a small group about ways that Upturn has helped drive change to technology companies’ practices.

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Hill briefing with Harlan Yu | 30 November 2016
The Usual Suspects: Bias in Government Surveillance

The Fourth Amendment Advisory Committee holds a briefing for Congress on “the profound impacts of the government’s immense surveillance practices and the different ways it affects different people.” VIDEO

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Panel with Logan Koepke | 30 November 2016
Law and Order Circa 2050

Logan discusses Upturn’s study, Stuck in a Pattern, on a panel focused on predictive policing, civil rights, and the future of policing. VIDEO

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lecture with David Robinson | 18 October 2016
Big Data and Civil Rights: A Field Report from Washington D.C.

David describes Upturn’s work — and the lessons learned from it — for a campus audience at Vanderbilt.

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panel with Cathy O’Neil and David Robinson | 17 October 2016
Weapons of Math Destruction

David interviews data scientist and activist Cathy O’Neil about her new book.

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Panel with Miranda Bogen | 13 October 2016
Snowden Effect: The Changing Landscape of Subpoenas, Transparency and Trust

Miranda moderates a discussion on Capitol Hill with panelists from Google and the Open Technology Institute about government surveillance, corporate transparency reporting, and other ways technology companies have adapted to respond to government demands for user data in the post-Snowden world. VIDEO

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talk by Aaron Rieke | 16 September 2016
In AI We Trust? Ethics & Bias in Machine Learning

Presenting to a group of data scientists in Bend, OR, Aaron discusses the ways that machine learning systems can reinforce bias across the criminal justice system.

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talk by Aaron Rieke | 15 September 2016
Perspectives on Consumer Finance: How Technology Is Changing Consumer Finance

As guest faculty at an American Bar Association event, Aaron presents on the impact of technology on consumer financial services law, and discusses online platforms’ recent ban on payday loan ads.

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Panel with Harlan Yu | 23 May 2016
Fairness by Design: How Can Big Data Advance Opportunity for All?

Harlan joins Julie Brill, former Commissioner of the Federal Trade Commission, and Alvaro Bedoya, executive director of the Center on Privacy & Technology at Georgetown Law, in a discussion about civil rights and data science. VIDEO

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panel with David Robinson | 05 May 2016
The Intersection of Poverty and Data: How Big and Open Data Helps and Harms People in Poverty

David takes part in a panel as part of Philly Tech Week.

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Talk with Harlan Yu | 08 April 2016
The Promise and Peril of Body Cameras

At the inaugural Color of Surveillance conference at Georgetown Law examines how the U.S. government has monitored African American communities from the colonial era to the present day. In his talk, Harlan discusses how police departments nationwide are using body-worn cameras to surveil communities of color. VIDEO

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Hill briefing with Harlan Yu | 17 March 2016
Overseas Surveillance in an Interconnected World Understanding Executive Order 12333 and its Reach

Harlan joins panelists from the National Security Agency, the ACLU, the Brennan Center for Justice, and Cardozo Law, to discuss the implications of the NSA’s overseas surveillance activities under EO 12333. VIDEO

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Panel with Harlan Yu | 15 March 2016
Protecting Broadband Privacy: The Privacy Obligations of ISPs One Year After Title II Reclassification

The panel, hosted by the New America’s Open Technology Institute, explores the responsibilities that broadband Internet providers ought to have to protect its customers’ privacy, as well as the FCC’s regulatory role. VIDEO

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panel with David Robinson | 25 January 2016
State of the Net 2016: Dynamic Trends in the Collection and Use of Consumer Online Data

A panel discussion about new privacy rules that the FCC sought to impose on broadband providers. VIDEO

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Webinar with Harlan Yu | 20 January 2016
Body Cameras and Police Surveillance: Police Accountability or Harm?

The Center for Media Justice and the Million Hoodies Movement for Justice hosts its monthly online salon, featuring Hamid Khan from the Stop LAPD Spying Coalition and Harlan Yu from Upturn. VIDEO

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Panel by Aaron Rieke | 03 December 2015
Can New Types of Online Lending Lower Prices and Improve Consumer Choice?

Aaron discusses the promise of pitfalls of new online lending offerings at the Financial Services Conference hosted by the Consumer Federation of America.

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Panel with Harlan Yu | 02 December 2015
Taking Our Body (Camera) Temperature: Recent Developments from the Field

New America’s Open Technology Institute hosts a panel discussion on the current state of body-worn camera deployments, including their potential impact at our nation’s borders. VIDEO

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Conference with Harlan Yu | 27 November 2015
Data & Civil Rights: A New Era of Policing and Justice

Upturn, Data & Society and the Leadership Conference host a major conference that explores the intersection of technology and criminal justice for law enforcement officers, government agencies, technology companies, civil rights leaders, technologists, and researchers.

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talk by Aaron Rieke | 30 October 2015
Follow the Lead: An FTC Workshop on Lead Generation

Before the FTC, Aaron describes harm arising from online payday lead generation practices, and explains how many lead generators evade state laws.

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talk by Aaron Rieke | 08 May 2015
Data, Lending, and Civil Rights Conference

At Georgetown Law, Aaron talks about recent innovations in credit scoring, and how to evaluate risks and benefits of new data usage for vulnerable communities.

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panel with David Robinson and Harlan Yu | 12 December 2014
Civil Rights and Machine Learning: Emerging Policy Questions

A panel discussion at the first-ever interdisciplinary conference on “Fairness, Accountability, and Transparency in Machine Learning” (FATML).