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In Poverty, Under Surveillance

Examining the Trade-Off Between Privacy and Public Assistance
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.
Join the conversation online using
       and following @AssetsNAF and @OTI

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.  


Policy Analyst, Asset Building Program, New America Foundation 
Featured Speakers:
Brigid Schulte
Fellow, Breadwinners and Caregivers Program, New America Foundation
Staff Writer, Washington Post 
Author, Overwhelmed: Work, Love, and Play When No One Has the Time (forthcoming)
Virginia Eubanks
University at Albany, SUNY
Author of Digital Dead End: Fighting for Social Justice in the Information Age
Michele Gilman
Director, Civil Advocacy Clinic, University of Baltimore
Meaghan O'Connor
Assistant Director of Programs and Partnerships, DC Public Library 
Senior Research Fellow, Open Technology Institute, New America Foundation

Event Time and Location

Thursday, December 12, 2013 - 12:15pm - 1:45pm
New America Foundation
1899 L Street NW Suite 400
Washington, DC 20036