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Lauren Kirchner

Lauren Kirchner

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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.

Articles

Where Traditional DNA Testing Fails, Algorithms Take Over

Powerful software is solving more crimes and raising new questions about due process.

Super PAC to Billionaire: We Need More Money to Save a Republican Senate

An errant email from a PAC supporting Sen. Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania highlights Republican anxiety: “Trump has taken a real hit this week.”

DNA Dragnet: In Some Cities, Police Go From Stop-and-Frisk to Stop-and-Spit

Police in Florida and other states are building up private DNA databases, in part by collecting voluntary samples from people not charged with — or even suspected of — any particular crime.

Wisconsin Court: Warning Labels Are Needed for Scores Rating Defendants’ Risk of Future Crime

The court said judges can look at the scores – so long as their limitations are made clear.

The Senate’s Popular Sentencing Reform Bill Would Sort Prisoners By ‘Risk Score’

Federal prisoners would be scored according to their risk of recidivating. Those who got high scores would be ineligible for sentence reduction.

What Algorithmic Injustice Looks Like in Real Life

A computer program rated defendants’ risk of committing a future crime. These are the results.

Machine Bias

There’s software used across the country to predict future criminals. And it’s biased against blacks.

How We Analyzed the COMPAS Recidivism Algorithm

What’s the Evidence Mass Surveillance Works? Not Much

Officials are again pointing to the need for mass surveillance to take down terrorists. Here’s what we know about how well it works.

What We Know About the Computer Formulas Making Decisions in Your Life

Algorithms make a lot more decisions in our lives than what news we read on Facebook. Here’s a reading guide.

Uber’s Surge Pricing May Not Lead to a Surge in Drivers

Uber’s surge pricing doesn’t necessarily increase the availability of rides. It just makes them more expensive.

Your Smart Home Knows a Lot About You

A data scientist’s experiment reveals surprising information about interconnected smart devices.

When Big Data Becomes Bad Data

Corporations are increasingly relying on algorithms to make business decisions and that raises new legal questions.

The Best Defense Is Good Offense: DOJ Challenges Local Public Defense Programs

Court filings bring national attention to local funding issues.

California’s Drought Is Part of a Much Bigger Water Crisis. Here’s What You Need to Know

Why do I keep hearing about the California drought, if it's the Colorado River that we're "killing"? The West's water crisis explained.

Killing the Colorado: Explore the River

How the Colorado was turned into a giant plumbing system.

What You Need to Know About the Water Crisis in the West

What led to the West's historic water crisis? What can be done to preserve the Colorado River? ProPublica explores the situation, at a glance.
Lauren Kirchner

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