Stories

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CC-BY-NC European Council

23 November 2021

European Council and Commission in agreement to narrow the scope of the AI Act

The European Council, which represents Member States, is pushing for a “narrow” definition of AI, which would dramatically water down the AI Act. The European Commission seems to be in agreement.

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Photo by Alexander Shatov on Unsplash

16 November 2021

Facebook goes after the creator of InstaPy, a tool that automates Instagram likes

Facebook sent a cease-and-desist letter to Tim Grossmann, the creator of InstaPy, and blocked his accounts – and those of his start-up – on the platform.

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Marine National Park
Photo by Hugo Vidal on Unsplash

2 November 2021

National parks near Marseilles deploy automated, live video surveillance against poachers

Two national parks in southern France want to automate the detection of poachers, but the efficacy of these systems remains unclear.

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CC BY SA West Midlands Police

1 October 2021

An English police force created its own ethics committee and it’s totally not ethics washing, they say.

The West Midlands police force, which controls 2.9 million persons around Birmingham, created its own independent ethics committee in 2019. Despite its work and its transparency, critics are not convinced that it is a solid enough counterweight.

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22 September 2021

YouTube cleaned its ‘news’ section… with content from Axel Springer

First findings of a data donation experiment by AlgorithmWatch show that Die Welt, a conservative news outlet from the German media conglomerate Axel Springer, dominates the news section.

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Felix Hunger/SZ

15 September 2021

Instagram algorithm: Süddeutsche publishes results of data analysis

Using thousands of data donations from AlgorithmWatch’s Instagram monitoring browser plug-in, German newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung showed that posts from the far-right appear higher on users’ timelines.

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Photo by Souvik Banerjee on Unsplash

31 August 2021

LinkedIn automatically rates “out-of-country” candidates as “not fit” in job applications

A feature on LinkedIn automatically rates candidates applying from another EU country as “not a fit”, which may be illegal. I asked 6 national and European agencies about the issue. None seemed interested in enforcing the law.

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YummyBuum / TarikVision / Igor | Adobe Stock

23 August 2021

How Big Tech Charms and Bullies European Politicians, Journalists and Academics

Google, Facebook and other very large tech companies built a lobbying system that, under the guise of furthering research or journalism, binds intellectuals in a complex network of patronage. Transparency is long overdue.

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Humaaans by Pablo Stanley, CC0 | Adobe Stock

13 August 2021

AlgorithmWatch forced to shut down Instagram monitoring project after threats from Facebook

Digital platforms play an ever-increasing role in structuring and influencing public debate. Civil society watchdogs, researchers and journalists need to be able to hold them to account. But Facebook is increasingly fighting those who try. It shut down New York University’s Ad Observatory last week, and went after AlgorithmWatch, too. The European Parliament and EU Member States must act now to prevent further bullying.

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CC-BY Bengt Nyman

10 August 2021

A Swedish town bought an AI to spot children at risk, but decided against deploying it

The Swedish municipality of Norrtälje bought an automated system to handle a spike in reports about children at risk. But it was shelved after concerns emerged regarding the software’s lawfulness and bias.

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