Pro Bono News
Algorithm May Decide Who Is a ‘Contributing Member of Society,’ Civil Rights Groups Warn
Sunday, November 19, 2017
- The Daily Beast
"The Trump administration’s call for “extreme vetting” has immigration officials seeking an automated process that can scrape through immigrants’ personal information and digital histories. But civil rights groups say that means turning over the immigration process to an algorithm that would be a technical and ethical nightmare.
Immigrations and Customs Enforcement is seeking tech firms to build an “overarching vetting contract that automates, centralizes and streamlines the current manual vetting process.” Specifically, ICE seeks to determine potential immigrants risk for terrorism and potential to be a “contributing member of society.”
ICE says its overtures to tech companies are nothing unusual.
“The Department of Homeland Security is tasked with protecting national security by vetting visa applicants to prevent terrorists and criminals from entering the U.S. and ensuring nonimmigrant aliens comply with the terms of their admission to the U.S,” an ICE spokesperson told The Daily Beast. “The request for information on this initiative was simply that – an opportunity to gather information from industry professionals and other government agencies on current technological capabilities to determine the best way forward...”"