Lauren Kirchner is a senior reporting fellow at ProPublica. She has covered digital security and press freedom issues for the Columbia Journalism Review, and crime and criminal justice for Pacific Standard magazine. She began her journalism career at the Richmond Times-Dispatch in Virginia. She has a B.A. in philosophy from Wesleyan University, and an M.S. from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, where she received the Louis Winnick Prize for reporting and a Pulitzer Travel Fellowship.
We reported on a dispute over the methods used by New York City’s crime lab to analyze complex DNA samples. Now similar concerns are prompting a national study. In this Q&A, a leading expert explains why labs may be making mistakes — and what can be done about it.
New York City’s crime lab has been a pioneer nationally in analyzing especially difficult DNA samples. But the recent disclosure of the source code for its proprietary software is raising new questions about accuracy.
Most tech companies have policies against working with hate websites. Yet a ProPublica survey found that PayPal, Stripe, Newsmax and others help keep more than half of the most-visited extremist sites in business.
In response to our report that minority neighborhoods pay higher premiums than white areas with the same risk, six members of Congress and two Illinois state senators are pushing for closer scrutiny of insurance practices.
Our analysis of premiums and payouts in California, Illinois, Texas and Missouri shows that some major insurers charge minority neighborhoods as much as 30 percent more than other areas with similar accident costs.
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