This Week in Tech Racism, March 10, 2017

This Week in Tech Racism, March 10, 2017

In this week’s edition for news involving race, society, science, and technology: President Trump’s so-called “Muslim Ban” Executive Order gives rise to a new form of cybercrime; A session at the South by Southwest (SXSW) EDU conference looks at education tech and whether it is effective at equalizing educational opportunity; Legislators calls for background checks for ridesharing services creates hiring disadvantages for people of color, particularly men; and more.


Trump Ban Fallout: The Rise in Deportation Scams

In addition to growing fear in immigrant communities about family members being wrenched from their loved ones and children separated from parents, there’s another unfortunate outcome: the rise in deportation scams. From impersonating Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents to using technology to send fraudulent phone calls, emails, and texts; scammers are taking advantage of terrified undocumented immigrants.


Is Edtech Worsening or Righting Inequities in Education? From the SXSWedu Floor

Education technology is a rapidly growing niche in the tech industry. But is it an effective tool in righting so many of the wrongs in the educational system? EdSurgeNews reports on a session at SXSW EDU that explores that very question.


These Entrepreneurs Brought 100 Black College Students to SXSW

We’ve written about the lack of minority presence at big tech conferences and events such as CES and Google I/O. Even when black people attend these events and see other black people there is often an air of discomfort in acknowledging one another. NBC News reports on the initiative that got 100 HBCU students access to the always-incredible SXSW music, arts, and tech festival in Austin next week.


Criticism of Legislators Calls for Ridesharing Driver Background Checks

Caleb Watney, writing an editorial for The Hill, takes issue with ridesharing services performing fingerprint checks on people before hiring them as drivers. Doing so, argues Watney, poses a problem for people of color to earn income driving for Uber and Lyft because “people of color are consistently arrested at rates greater than their representation in the general population” and often those arrests lead to no convictions.