Police in the United Kingdom are partnering with credit reporting agencies to predict whether criminals will reoffend, a report from UK civil liberties group Big Brother Watch has uncovered.
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Google was served at least four sweeping search warrants by Raleigh, North Carolina police last year, requesting anonymised location data on all users within areas surrounding crime scenes. In one case, Raleigh police requested information on all Google accounts within 17 acres of a murder, overlapping residences and businesses. Google did not confirm or deny whether it handed over the requested data to police.
In 2014, activists rallied for body cameras after a number of brutal officer-involved shootings in the US. More officers than ever are now wearing cameras, but who gets to see the footage? Upturn, a DC-based policy think tank, recently found that body camera footage of fatal police shootings isn't consistently released to the public. Researchers reviewed 105 cases where body cameras likely recorded footage of officers killing US civilians. In 40 of those cases, the footage was never made public. When it is released, it's usually about a week after the shooting.
The US Patent Office recently published a patent by Ford for an autonomous police vehicle that could be programmed with "machine learning tools (e.g., deep neural networks) to find good hiding spots to catch violators of traffic laws". First spotted by Motor 1, the patent - which represents more of a moonshot project than a pending invention - would nonetheless really round out the most dystopian visions of our future.
A San Francisco animal shelter is under fire for using a security robot, dubbed K9, to push out homeless people encamped nearby. America's disruption capital, San Francisco, has both a crippling housing crisis and an abundance of startups using automated robots for everything from delivering sandwiches to deterring crime.
Two members of Baltimore's County Council have introduced a new resolution to tighten public access to body camera footage. The measure, introduced by Republican councilmen Todd Crandell and Wade Kach, comes after dozens of criminal cases were dropped in Baltimore following the release of camera footage that seemingly uncovered officer misconduct.
If you've heard of Knightscope's security robots, it was probably due to their high-profile failures: one would-be Robocop failed to detect a staircase and killed itself by driving into a water fountain, another ran over a toddler's foot in a shopping mall. On Wednesday, Knightscope announced two new robots were joining the force: the K1 and the K5 buggy.
Unsurprisingly, the latest AI advancement in body camera technology comes no closer to increasing police accountability or officer transparency. As the public's push for body cameras has died down, tech companies are now making their own appeal for body cameras to the police departments that buy them: Offering sharper, smarter surveillance.
Researchers in the UK used machine learning algorithms to analyse 1.6 million tweets in London during the infamous 2011 riots, which resulted in widespread looting, property destruction and over 3,000 arrests. According to the researchers, analysing Twitter data to map out where violence occurred in London boroughs was faster and more accurate than relying on emergency calls -- or even on-the-ground information gathering.
On Wednesday, a US federal judge ruled that the sound emitted from the NYPD's Long Range Acoustic Devices -- portable sound cannons that blast noise -- could be considered a use of force, contrary to the police department's claims. The LRAD can blast sound as loudly as 136 decibels. That's louder than a jackhammer or a jet engine and above the 120 db threshold for immediate human hearing loss.