Speaking of surveillance cities, Ali Winston for The Verge reports on the relationship between Palantir and New Orleans Police Department. They used predictive policing, which is loaded with social and statistical considerations, under the guise of philanthropy. Palantir gained access to personal records:

In January 2013, New Orleans would also allow Palantir to use its law enforcement account for LexisNexis’ Accurint product, which is comprised of millions of searchable public records, court filings, licenses, addresses, phone numbers, and social media data. The firm also got free access to city criminal and non-criminal data in order to train its software for crime forecasting. Neither the residents of New Orleans nor key city council members whose job it is to oversee the use of municipal data were aware of Palantir’s access to reams of their data.

False positives. Over-policing. Bias from the source data driving the algorithms. This isn’t stuff you just mess around with.

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Nathan Yau

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