November 18, 2019

Revisiting Price Discrimination at the Princeton Review

Latanya Sweeney and JOTS

Society versus Princeton Review. Issue is fair pricing.

In 2015, Technology Science students [1] and ProPublica journalists [2] found unexplained price discrimination in online tutoring services for the SAT at the Princeton Review website [3]. A key finding by ProPublica was that Asians were likely to pay almost twice as much as other groups for the same online tutoring service. At the time, these findings were overshadowed by other events. Now, four years later, the time seems ripe to revisit the matter and determine whether discriminatory pricing continues at the Princeton...

January 29, 2020

Deepfake Submissions on Federal Public Comment Servers

Max Weiss

American Society versus the U.S. Government.
Issue is bot submissions to federal comment websites.

Federal comment periods are an important way that federal agencies include public input into policy decisions, but being online, they are vulnerable to attacks at Internet scale. For example, in 2017, more than 21 million (96 percent of the 22 million) public comments submitted regarding the Federal Communication Commission’s proposal to repeal net neutrality were discernible as being generated using search-and-replace techniques [1]. Worse, publicly available artificial...

February 24, 2020

Democracy Depends on a CAPTCHA

Latanya Sweeney and Jinyan Zang

American Society versus Government Managers. Issue is fair access and secure services.

Federal, state and local governments in the United States increasingly rely on Internet websites for citizens and residents to conduct transactions online. Online convenience can lead to increased satisfaction and participation with lower operating costs. But easy and open online access introduces the potential for computer programs (“bots”) anywhere in the world to impersonate residents online and then sabotage, corrupt, or disrupt government functions at scale and in targeted ways (such...