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About the Show
If Then is a show about technology, society, and power. Each week, the hosts take you on a lively tour of the tech news that actually matters, from fake news in your Facebook feed to the algorithms that want your job to the Uber drivers who want a job with benefits. With news-making interviews of key tech-industry figures, fascinating academics, and top tech journalists, we explore not only how the technology that’s shaping our world works, but the ideas, ideologies, incentives, and biases that underlie it.
Aaron Mak is a Slate staff writer covering technology.
In this episode, Aaron Mak learns about how law enforcement is using public genealogy websites to crack cold cases. His guest is Nila Bala, associate director of criminal justice policy at the R Street Institute, a think tank whose mission is to find solutions to complex policy problems. Bala is also a former public defender. She says that while it’s great that criminals are being brought to justice, there should be more rules in place to limit false positives and prevent privacy violations.
After the interview, Shannon Palus joins the show for this week’s edition of Don’t Close My Tabs.