For most Americans, news of NSA's domestic spying program was shocking. But for one group, living under government surveillance is routine--people in poverty. For families and individuals accessing the public benefits system, ceding extensive personal and financial information and submitting to unannounced home visits, fingerprinting or drug testing are the cost of receiving assistance. And for some policy makers, these intrusions still don't go far enough in regulating who receives these benefits and how they are used.
Surveillance of poor families raises questions with universal relevance: What are the implications of having different standards of privacy based on financial status? Under what circumstances can our privacy be transacted away, and where are the limits? What responsibility do government agencies have to protect personal information? Is technology keeping our information safer, or putting it more at risk?
To unpack these questions, New America Foundation's Open Technology Institute, Asset Building Program, and Breadwinners and Caregivers Program are hosting a discussion to explore the dynamics of privacy, surveillance and technology in the context of people's lived experiences with poverty and the public assistance system. Please join us for this timely and vital conversation.
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If you are unable to join us in person, please tune in to our live webcast the day of the event. No signup is required to view the streaming video.