Automating Inequality: How High-Tech Tools Profile, Police and Punish the Poor

CSTMS Colloquia


November 29, 2018
4:00pm to 5:30pm
Banatao Auditorium, Sutardja Dai Hall, UC Berkeley
Get Directions


In her new book, Automating Inequality: How High-Tech Tools Profile, Police and Punish the Poor, Virginia Eubanks systematically investigates the impacts of data mining, policy algorithms, and predictive risk models on poor and working-class people in America. The book is full of heart-wrenching and eye-opening stories, from a woman in Indiana whose benefits are literally cut off as she lays dying to a family in Pennsylvania in daily fear of losing their daughter because they fit a certain statistical profile. “This book is downright scary,” says Naomi Klein, “but with its striking research and moving, indelible portraits of life in the ‘digital poorhouse,’ you will emerge smarter and more empowered to demand justice.” Join us for a lively discussion of this timely book. This event is being co-sponsored by BIDS.

UC Berkeley's Center for Science, Technology, Medicine & Society (CSTMS) conducts cross-disciplinary research, teaching, and outreach on the histories and implications of scientific research, biomedicine, and new technologies. CSTMS Colloquia host invited speakers representing a wide range of research interests from around the world. They are often live-streamed, and you are welcome to watch when they are.


Virginia Eubanks

Associate Professor of Political Science
SUNY Albany

Virginia Eubanks is an Associate Professor of Political Science at the University at Albany, SUNY. She is the author of Automating Inequality: How High-Tech Tools Profile, Police, and Punish the Poor; Digital Dead End: Fighting for Social Justice in the Information Age; and co-editor, with Alethia Jones, of Ain’t Gonna Let Nobody Turn Me Around: Forty Years of Movement Building with Barbara Smith. Her writing about technology and social justice has appeared in The American Prospect, The Nation, Harper’s and Wired. For two decades, Eubanks has worked in community technology and economic justice movements. Today, she is a founding member of the Our Data Bodies Project and a Fellow at New America. She lives in Troy, NY.