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Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The Biden administration should evaluate new technologies like artificial intelligence and facial recognition through "a civil rights lens," argues a new paper shared exclusively with Axios. One of its authors is a volunteer on the Biden-Harris transition team.

The big picture: The paper from The Day One Project, a group of mostly former government staffers, advocates Biden establish a task force within the White House Office of Science Technology Policy to push federal agencies to share information about issues like facial recognition and targeted advertising.

Details: The paper's authors are Laura Moy, director of the Center on Privacy and Tech at Georgetown University and a volunteer on the Biden-Harris transition team, and Gabrielle Rejouis, senior policy manager on Color of Change's media, culture and economic justice team. (Moy participated in a personal capacity, not as a transition representative.)

What they're saying: "Tech policy issues — from online privacy to self-driving cars to encryption — must now be examined through a civil rights lens," they write. "Civil rights issues — from housing and employment discrimination to redlining to voter suppression — must now be examined through a technology lens."

  • But experts in technical regulation and equal opportunity law rarely know one another's fields, they note.
  • The Federal Trade Commission has never issued a legal complaint against algorithmic bias, they write.

Go deeper

Jan 16, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Biden to elevate top White House science post to Cabinet level

Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

President-elect Joe Biden announced Friday that he will make the top White House science post a Cabinet-level position for the first time in U.S. history.

The big picture: Biden said he has picked Eric Lander to be his presidential science adviser and he will nominate the geneticist as the director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy. Biden also announced other key members of his science team, including Francis Collins, who will stay on as director of the National Institutes of Health.

Updated 2 mins ago - Technology

Facebook refers Trump ban to independent Oversight Board for review

Photo: Alex Edelman/AFP via Getty Images

Facebook's independent Oversight Board has accepted a referral from the platform to review its decision to indefinitely suspend former President Trump.

Why it matters: While Trump critics largely praised the company's decision to remove the then-president's account for potential incitement of violence, many world leaders and free speech advocates pushed back on the decision, arguing it sets a dangerous precedent for free speech moving forward.

Biden plans to keep Christopher Wray as FBI director

FBI Director Christopher Wray at a virtual DOJ news briefing on Oct. 28. Photo: Sarah Silbiger/pool/AFP via Getty Images

President Biden plans to keep Christopher Wray as director of the FBI, CNN first reported and an administration official confirmed to Axios.

The big picture: Wray, who was nominated by former President Trump in 2017 after he fired former FBI Director James Comey, came under heavy criticism from Trump and his allies over the past year.