All ETDs from UAB

Advisory Committee Chair

Erin L Borry

Advisory Committee Members

Peter A Jones

Akhlaque Haque

Document Type


Date of Award


Degree Name by School

Master of Public Administration (MPA) College of Arts and Sciences


ABSTRACT Algorithms are becoming widespread and their use is set to expand, but it must be emphasized that, although constructive and transformative, they can also be destructive and counterproductive. Various types of organizations utilize algorithms, including government. The consequences of poorly constructed algorithms could lead to the infringement of citi-zens’ individual rights. Exploring two algorithms as case studies allows us to understand government use of algorithms and the ethics associated with them, especially in relation to the potential for the violation of rights. The application of privacy and anti-discrimination as lenses through which algorithms can be analyzed allows government officials to realize what the implications of unregulated algorithms can have on society. The more widespread the use of these algorithms, the higher the risk of infringing rights protected by law and the Constitution. In order to reach the conclusion that indeed algorithms must be regulated in whichever way, government must enforce accountability for the consequences imposed by biasedly constructed algorithms. Keywords: algorithmic accountability, privacy, anti-discrimination, graffiti, recidivism



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