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Human Rights and Technology: New Challenges for Justice and Accountability

Authors
  • Land, Molly K.
  • Aronson, Jay D.
Type
Published Article
Publisher
Annual Reviews
Publication Date
Oct 13, 2020
Volume
16
Pages
223–240
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1146/annurev-lawsocsci-060220-081955
Source
Annual Reviews
Keywords
License
Yellow

Abstract

This review surveys contemporary challenges in the field of technology and human rights. The increased use of artificial intelligence (AI) in decision making in the public and private sectors—e.g., in criminal justice, employment, public service, and financial contexts—poses significant threats to human rights. AI obscures and attenuates responsibility for harms in ways that undermine traditional mechanisms for holding wrongdoers accountable. Further, technologies that scholars and practitioners once thought would democratize human rights fact finding have been weaponized by state and non-state actors. They are now used to surveil and track citizens and spread disinformation that undermines public trust in knowledge. Addressing these challenges requires efforts to ensure that the development and implementation of new technologies respects and promotes human rights. Traditional distinctions between public and private must be updated to remain relevant in the face of deeply enmeshed state and corporate action in connection with technological innovation.

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