piotr sapieżyński
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Black and white portrait of Piotr Sapiezynski by Peter Gumaskas

I am an Associate Research Scientist at the Khoury College of Computer Sciences at Northeastern University in Boston, MA. I received a PhD in Network Science/Data Science from Technical University of Denmark.

The core of my work is auditing online platforms and their algorithms for issues surrounding fairness, security and privacy, and human autonomy. I work with other researchers, journalists, and NGOs to investigate systems that are optimized for profit yet drive many aspects of our daily lives. All too often we find these systems have (possibly unintended but often predictable) side effects that bring harm to individuals and the society.

Our investigations bring about real-world accountability. Our findings on Facebook's use of personal data without consent were a part of a record $5B dollar settlement with the US Federal Trade Commission. The Department of Justice settled with Facebook over issues documented through our research, in the first ever case where the federal government challenged algorithmic discrimination under the Fair Housing Act. We briefed Members of the House Financial Services Committee on our findings on discriminatory effects in ad delivery. I was also invited to present at a public hearing to the European Parliament's Internal Market and Consumer Protection Committee on price differentiation and negative effects of personalization in political advertising.

In addition to my scientific research, I also teach algorithm audits through college courses and at conference workshops. Some of the teaching modules are available at inspectelement.org.