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SIPR Guest Talk - Prof Rosamunde Elise Van Brakel

Date of event: June 5, 2024

Edinburgh Napier University - Sighthill Campus - Room 2.D.04

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Event Briefing

Rhizomatic Harms of Algorithmic Policing

This paper aims to contribute to digital criminology by proposing a framework of rhizomatic harms of algorithmic policing. We propose to expand zemiologist insights with a technological and relational component, and to broaden the concept of ‘social harms’ to ‘rhizomatic harms’. Rhizomatic harms are to be understood in all their complexity, as they emerge from multiple entry points with the creation of complex layers of harms as a result. By focussing on the genealogy of rhizomatic harms of algorithmic policing in our analysis we aim to make visible the collective, relational, cumulative, and intersectional dimensions of harms and the role macro, meso and micro processes play in harm production. The Top400 list and the use of the ProKid + algorithm in Amsterdam, The Netherlands will be used to exemplify our framework.

Event Programme

10:00 -
- Main Event

Professor Van Brakel will talk about her research on rhizomatic harms and algorithmic policing.

Event Speaker & Guests

Prof Rosamunde Elise Van Brakel Speaker

Dr. Rosamunde Van Brakel is a criminologist who works as an Assistant Professor and postdoctoral researcher at the Fundamental Rights Centre and Crime and Society Research Group at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB). She teaches and coordinates the course Legal, Ethical and Social Issues of Artificial Intelligence. She is currently co-PI of the FWO project: Smart Video Surveillance in Smart Cities: Deconstructing Security and Surveillance Discourses and IBOF Project Future-proofing Human Rights. Developing thicker forms of accountability at the VUB.

She has been studying the social, ethical and legal consequences of (algorithmic) surveillance technologies in the criminal justice sector since 2006. Since finishing her PhD in 2018 she has been conducting research on the democratic governance and harms of surveillance, risk assessments and AI. Previously, she coordinated the VUB Research Chair in Surveillance Studies (2019-2023) and was co-directorf of the Surveillance Studies Network (2019-2023). She has been involved as an expert for the Belgian government in 2020 (Expert working group Coronalert app) and was an expert witness for the UK House of Lords Justice and Home Affairs Committee inquiry on new technologies and law enforcement in 2021 and was invited to speak in 2022 at the hearing of the European Parliament PEGA inquiry 'Spyware used against citizens'.

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