Data Critique


The Department of Homeland Security intends to monitor the social media accounts and internet search history of legal immigrants, naturalized U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents as part of a new tracking system. It went into effect the same day that the latest iteration of President Donald Trump’s travel ban was set. 

The information that’s now going to be kept in Alien-Files includes:

  • Country of nationality
  • Country of residence
  • The U.S. Citizenship
  • Immigration Service online account number
  • Social media handles
  • Social media passwords
  • Aliases
  • Associated identifiable information
  • Search results
The new rule “makes clear that the government intends to retain the social media information of people who have immigrated to this country, singling out a huge group of people to maintain files on what they say, this collect-it-all approach is ineffective to protect national security and is one more example of the Trump administration’s anti-immigrant agenda.” Faiz Shakir, American Civil Liberties Union national political director
“There’s a growing trend at the Department of Homeland Security to be snooping on the social media of immigrants and foreigners and we think it’s an invasion of privacy and deters freedom of speech, DHS could open up their file and see that in 2017 they said 'Donald Trump makes me so angry, sometimes I wish he wasn’t the president” - Adam Schwartz, Attorney
"The whole thing can be solved so simply if they just put me in charge of immigration, which I would run like Tinder" - Ann Coulter


This data analysis system not only judges people by face value but makes them vulnerable to being judged by their views and their intentions being misconstrued. Just like tinder, where people are judged by strangers based purely on what they seem like and what they post on Facebook or Instagram. This platform doesn't tell the persons story and character.

So what if there was a tinder like swiping app used by the authorities to easily assess this data? What sort of profile would appeal to them? Would there be any bias? Would these applicants be misunderstood?

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Nitish WakalkarComment