Facebook hit with housing discrimination charge by US government

first_img Facebook said it has been trying to work with HUD to prevent discrimination.”While we were eager to find a solution, HUD insisted on access to sensitive information — like user data — without adequate safeguards. We’re disappointed by today’s developments, but we’ll continue working with civil rights experts on these issues,” a company spokesperson said in an emailed statement.The social media giant also said that it had reached “historic agreements” with the National Fair Housing Alliance, the ACLU and other advocacy groups on changes to its advertising system. The charge marks the latest incident that calls into question how Facebook conducts its business. It’s been under fire over how it collects user data for the past year.Here is HUD’s filing: Tags 13 1:31 “Facebook is discriminating against people based upon who they are and where they live,” HUD Secretary Ben Carson says. Omar Marques/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images The US Department of Housing and Urban Development charged Facebook on Thursday with allegedly violating the Fair Housing Act through targeted ads.The charge follows an August 2018 complaint that alleged the social network lets landlords and home sellers engage in housing discrimination through advertising that can exclude people based on race, national origin, religion, gender or disability.”Facebook is discriminating against people based upon who they are and where they live,” HUD Secretary Ben Carson said in a statement. “Using a computer to limit a person’s housing choices can be just as discriminatory as slamming a door in someone’s face.”The initial complaint came after a ProPublica investigation in 2016 showed that housing advertisements could be targeted at and away from specific groups. ProPublica followed up a year later, showing that the targeting hadn’t stopped.According to HUD’s lawsuit, Facebook allowed advertisers to exclude people who were born outside the US, non-Christians, interested in accessibility issues or interested in Latino culture. HUD also accuses Facebook of allowing advertisers to exclude people based on their neighborhoods or whether they have children.”Even as we confront new technologies, the fair housing laws enacted over half a century ago remain clear — discrimination in housing-related advertising is against the law,” HUD general counsel Paul Compton said in a statement. “Just because a process to deliver advertising is opaque and complex doesn’t mean that it exempts Facebook and others from our scrutiny and the law of the land.” Now playing: Watch this: Share your voicecenter_img See how much time you’re wasting on Facebook Comments First published at 5:11 a.m. PT.Updates, 6:16 a.m. and 7:45 a.m.: Adds more details, Facebook’s comment and HUD’s filing. Internet Services Politics Facebooklast_img read more

2 killed in separate road accidents

first_imgRoad Accident logoTwo persons were killed and three others injured in separate road accidents at Ashulia in Savar on the outskirts of the capital on Friday, reports UNB. The identities of the deceased could not be known immediately.Police said a truck collided head-on with another truck at Moragang on Bipile-Abdullahpur Highway in Ashulia in the morning, leaving a youth dead on the spot and three others injured.Besides, a truck crushed a motorcyclist on a road in Jamgora Chaitala area, leaving him dead on the spot, police added.The bodies were sent to Dhaka Medical College Hospital for autopsies.Ashulia police station officer-in-charge Abdul Awal confirmed the matters.last_img read more

A step closer to a practical atom laser

first_img This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. Research team supersizes ‘quantum squeezing’ to measure ultrasmall motion Explore further “But there is an uncertainty, since the number passing fluctuates. When the fluctuations are larger than the effect you are looking for, precise measurements are more difficult. For example, if the fluctuations in your signal due to underlying quantum uncertainty is 50 photons per second, and the effect you’re looking for change the number you’re measuring by 10 per second, you won’t see the effect. What we have done is try to get rid of some of that uncertainty.”Johnsson, a scientist at The Australian National University in Canberra, and his coauthor, Simon Haine, believe that one way to reduce the uncertainty associated with measurements in atom lasers is to perform a technique known as “squeezing.” However, creating a squeezing effect can be difficult. Johnsson and Haine have created models to show a way to get a squeezing effect though self-interaction of atoms using technology that exists now. Their findings can be found in “Generating Squeezing in an Atom Laser through Self-Interaction,” which is published in Physical Review Letters.“An atom laser makes use of atoms with special quantum properties rather the photons employed by a normal optical laser,” Johnsson says. “This potentially allows for much more precise measurements, as well as measurements of effects that cannot be seen by an optical laser. Many of the things we do now with optical lasers, we hope to be able to do with atom lasers.” “Right now it is fair to say that an atom laser is more of a research tool,” Johnsson concedes. “But in the 1960s, when optical lasers were first being used, the case was the same. But now there are all sorts of applications. We believe our work will lead to interesting applications for atom lasers.”And one of the steps toward that realization is discovering that squeezing can provide a steadier stream of atoms. “Squeezing allows you to shuffle uncertainty from one quality, such as velocity or motion, to another. You can’t measure both as accurately as you want,” Johnsson explains. “With squeezing, if you want to measure how many particles are passing at a given time, you can measure that more accurately at the expense of making something else — something you don’t care about — less accurate.”Johnsson and Haine’s idea was to find a simpler way to make the squeezing happen. Other scientists have tried to use squeezing with optical lasers, but it is very difficult. “The different properties of atoms actually makes it easier,” Johnsson says. “Photons in a light beam don’t interact with each other. Atoms are constantly bumping into each other. They naturally, through interaction, create the squeezing effect. We were surprised at how easy it works.”But that is where the difficulty begins. “Even though we don’t have to do anything to facilitate the squeezing,” Johnsson points out, “if you let it go on too long, the effect will break down. You have to be able to manipulate them in order to get the atoms in the beam to interact just enough.” The next problem, he continues, will be actually measuring the squeezing effect. “We’ve come up with a scheme that allows us to create an atom laser for precise measurements, and the experiment should be easy to set up. But we need a detector.” Johnsson explains that detecting individual atoms is difficult, and that the biggest challenge will be counting them in order to verify the squeezing effect. He remains optimistic, though. “This is one of the major things the experimentalists in our group want to do in the next couple of years. We could be closer to a better atom laser.”Copyright 2007 PhysOrg.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed in whole or part without the express written permission of PhysOrg.com.center_img “When doing precise measurements of any kind, it is important to be able to count something, such as photons coming by at any given time,” Mattias Johnsson tells PhysOrg.com. Citation: A step closer to a practical atom laser (2007, July 19) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2007-07-closer-atom-laser.htmllast_img read more