Automating Inequality

Automating Inequality

How High-Tech Tools Profile, Police, and Punish the Poor

Virginia Eubanks

The goals of the project were consistent throughout the automation experiment: maximize efficiency and eliminate fraud by shifting to a task-based system and severing caseworker-to-client bonds. They were clearly reflected in contract metrics: response time in the call centers was a key performance indicator; determination accuracy was not. Efficiency and savings were built into the contract; transparency and due process were not.

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