US governments are already beginning to use the technology in a limited capacity. Last week the New York department of motor vehicles announced that it had made more than 4,000 arrests using facial recognition technology. Instead of scanning police footage, the software is used to compare new drivers’ license application photos to images already in the database, making it tougher for fraudsters to steal someone’s identity.
Before Palantir, building each profile was a time-consuming job...for an analyst to tie together information from disparate sources... Because Palantir could automatically integrate everything from citizen tips and crime incidents to field interviews and partial license plates, it dramatically accelerated the production of Chronic Offender Bulletins. What used to take an hour could be generated in three to five minutes. The analysts could now profile every single person stopped by police
without proper rules, deploying police body cameras en masse threatens to create a pervasive surveillance tool and turn what is supposed to be a check on police into a worrisome increase in police power ... in order to avoid missing events that should be recorded, it’s best to offer clean-cut rules rather than looser, discretion-based standards, and to have clear and strict policies that cameras should be on whenever officers are interacting with the public or engaged in a police action.
At least 160 police and fire departments acquired drones in 2016, more than in the past three years combined ... Drones are more popular among law enforcement than any other type of public safety agency. Sixty-three percent of the agencies that attained drones are sheriff or police departments ... The two states with the highest number of agencies that have acquired drones: Texas, with 28 departments, and California, with 23.
more than 125 million Americans—more than half of the country’s adult population—are thought to be stored in a vast network of databases used by local and federal law enforcement to scan photos and videos of individuals. Many of these faces, which can be searched without reasonable suspicion, belong to people who have never been charged with a crime... there are few guidelines or legal rulings that govern exactly how face recognition...should be used by police.
CivicScape claims to not use race or ethnic data to make predictions, although it is aware of other indirect indicators of race that could bias its software. The software also filters out low-level drug crimes, which have been found to be heavily biased against African Americans. While this startup might be the first to publicly reveal the inner machinations of its algorithm and data practices, it’s not an assurance that predictive policing can be made fair and transparent across the board.
On any given day, most inmates in California jails have not yet been convicted of a crime. About 63 percent are being held awaiting trial, according to data collected by the Board of State and Community Corrections, an average of nearly 47,000 people. Federal statistics on the largest urban counties show that from 2000 to 2009, California kept unsentenced felony defendants in jail at nearly twice the rate of the rest of the country.
counties designated as “sanctuary” areas by ICE typically experience significantly lower rates of all types of crime, including lower homicide rates... In 2015, the typical sanctuary county in a large metropolitan area experienced 654 fewer crimes per 100,000 residents than the typical non-sanctuary county in a big, metropolitan area. That's an overall crime rate approximately 15 percent lower.
For at least three years, two stories about crime and police in Chicago have been unspooling... The primary one has been about escalating gun violence, ... The second story has been about police excess in dealing with suspects and passivity in dealing with civilian reports of crime... Last year, seven hundred and sixty-two people were killed in Chicago—three hundred more than the previous year...the largest one-year increase in any of America’s biggest cities in the past quarter-century.
he Chicago police have systemically violated the civil rights of residents by routinely using excessive force, a practice that particularly affects African-Americans and Latinos ... the Justice Department has put the city’s problems on the record and set in motion a process — albeit one that may be less easy to enforce — for change, even if the Trump administration does not seek a consent decree with Chicago.