police

2 posts
Public agencies using facial recognition software without oversight

An anonymous source supplied BuzzFeed News with usage data from Clearview AI, the facial recognition service that was banned by many police departments nationwide. Many agencies still used and/or tried it: The data, provided by a source who declined to be named for fear of retribution, has limitations. When asked about it in March of this year, Clearview AI did not confirm or dispute its authenticity. Some 335 public entities...

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Inadequate hate crime statistics

For ProPublica, Ken Schwencke reports on a poor data system that relies on local law enforcement to voluntarily enter data: Local law enforcement agencies reported a total of 6,121 hate crimes in 2016 to the FBI, but estimates from the National Crime Victimization Survey, conducted by the federal government, pin the number of potential hate crimes at almost 250,000 a year — one indication of the inadequacy of the FBI’s...

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Tracking what happens to police after use of force on protestors

You’ve probably seen the videos. ProPublica is tracking to see what happens after: ProPublica wanted to find out what happens after these moments are caught on tape. We culled hundreds of videos to find those with the clearest examples of officers apparently using a disproportionate level of force against protesters and reached out to 40 law enforcement agencies about the 68 incidents below. For each incident, we inquired about any...

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Algorithm leads to arrest of the wrong person

Even though there was supposedly a person in the decision-making process and a surveillance photo wasn’t actually Robert Julian-Borchak Williams, he still ended up handcuffed in front of his own home. Kashmir Hill reporting for The New York Times: This is what technology providers and law enforcement always emphasize when defending facial recognition: It is only supposed to be a clue in the case, not a smoking gun. Before arresting...

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Police Perception vs. Public Perception

The numbers are from a survey by the Pew Research Center conducted in 2016. I suspect the percentages are higher right now, but I’m not so sure about the differences between police and public. Tags: Pew Research, police, public

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How police use facial recogntion

For The New York Times, Jennifer Valentino-DeVries looked at the current state of facial recognition in law enforcement: Officials in Florida say that they query the system 4,600 times a month. But the technology is no magic bullet: Only a small percentage of the queries break open investigations of unknown suspects, the documents indicate. The tool has been effective with clear images — identifying recalcitrant detainees, people using fake IDs...

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Data for 200M records for traffic stops

The Stanford Open Policing Project just released a dataset for police traffic stops across the country: Currently, a comprehensive, national repository detailing interactions between police and the public doesn’t exist. That’s why the Stanford Open Policing Project is collecting and standardizing data on vehicle and pedestrian stops from law enforcement departments across the country — and we’re making that information freely available. We’ve already gathered over 200 million records from...

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Inflated counts for cleared rape cases

Newsy, Reveal and ProPublica look into rape cases in the U.S. and law enforcement’s use of exceptional clearance. The designation allows police to clear cases when they have enough evidence to make an arrest and know who and where the suspect is, but can’t make an arrest for reasons outside their control. Experts say it’s supposed to be used sparingly. Culled data from various police departments shows the designation is...

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The Crime Machine

I’m behind on my podcast listening (well, behind in everything tbh), but Reply All covered the flaws of CompStat, a data system originally employed by the NYPD to track crime and hold officers accountable: But some of these chiefs started to figure out, wait a minute, the person who’s in charge of actually keeping track of the crime in my neighborhood is me. And so if they couldn’t make crime...

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Predictive policing algorithms used secretly in New Orleans

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...

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