41 minutes | Aug 5, 2021

How Australia Used Tech Against Welfare Recipients w/ Dhakshayini Sooriyakumaran

Paris Marx is joined by Dhakshayini Sooriyakumaran to discuss Australia’s robodebt scandal where automated decision-making was used against welfare recipients, and how exploitative AI implementations are being deployed by governments in social welfare and at the borders.Dhakshayini Sooriyakumaran is a proud Tamil person and a PhD candidate at Australian National University whose work focuses on digital identification systems and border policing regimes. Follow Dhakshayini on Twitter as @Dhakshayini_S.🚨 T-shirts are now available!Tech Won’t Save Us offers a critical perspective on tech, its worldview, and wider society with the goal of inspiring people to demand better tech and a better world. Follow the podcast (@techwontsaveus) and host Paris Marx (@parismarx) on Twitter, support the show on Patreon, and sign up for the weekly newsletter,  ⚒️ THE HAMMER ⚒️.Find out more about Harbinger Media Network at harbingermedianetwork.com.Also mentioned in this episode:Dhakshayini wrote about robo-governance and why we need to oppose it.Robodebt eventually resulted in a A$1.8 billion settlement in favor of welfare recipients.Robo-planning was another proposed system for Australia’s disability insurance scheme that has been canceled. A blockchain trial was also considered.Australia is trialing a controversial cashless welfare card, and plans to increase the use of biometrics.Scarlet Wilcock researched the history of “welfare cheat” narratives in Australia.Canada has been using automated decision making to process visa applications.Just Futures Law and Mijente released a report called “ICE: Digital Prisons.”Israeli company NSO’s Pegasus technology was weaponized against activists, politicians, and journalists.The Australian Human Rights Commission released a report on human rights and technology, while the European Data Protection Supervisor has called for a ban on biometrics.Support the show (https://patreon.com/techwontsaveus)
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