The Rise of Big Data Policing by Andrew Guthrie Ferguson

The Rise of Big Data Policing by Andrew Guthrie FergusonThe Rise of Big Data Policing: Surveillance, Race, and the Future of Law Enforcement by Andrew Guthrie Ferguson
Published by New York University Press on October 3rd 2017
Genres: Technology
Format: Hard Cover
Source: NetGalley
Goodreads
four-stars

The consequences of big data and algorithm-driven policing and its impact on law enforcement In a high-tech command center in downtown Los Angeles, a digital map lights up with 911 calls, television monitors track breaking news stories, surveillance cameras sweep the streets, and rows of networked computers link analysts and police officers to a wealth of law enforcement intelligence. This is just a glimpse into a future where software predicts future crimes, algorithms generate virtual "most-wanted" lists, and databanks collect personal and biometric information. The Rise of Big Data Policing introduces the cutting-edge technology that is changing how the police do their jobs and shows why it is more important than ever that citizens understand the far-reaching consequences of big data surveillance as a law enforcement tool. Andrew Guthrie Ferguson reveals how these new technologies --viewed as race-neutral and objective--have been eagerly adopted by police departments hoping to distance themselves from claims of racial bias and unconstitutional practices. After a series of high-profile police shootings and federal investigations into systemic police misconduct, and in an era of law enforcement budget cutbacks, data-driven policing has been billed as a way to "turn the page" on racial bias. But behind the data are real people, and difficult questions remain about racial discrimination and the potential to distort constitutional protections. In this first book on big data policing, Ferguson offers an examination of how new technologies will alter the who, where, when and how we police. These new technologies also offer data-driven methods to improve police accountability and to remedy the underlying socio-economic risk factors that encourage crime. The Rise of Big Data Policing is a must read for anyone concerned with how technology will revolutionize law enforcement and its potential threat to the security, privacy, and constitutional rights of citizens.

Big data has become an integral part of our lives, whether we are aware of it or not. With its use in a range of industries, including public safety, as a society we would do well to keep ourselves informed at what we are doing, and allowing to be done in the name of security and safety. This book examines the use, and potential misuse of big data projects in the application of the law in society.

It is definitely written with a particular slant in mind, to show that there is an inherent bias in the way the data is being applied. From an outside perspective, I felt like it was a bit of a chicken and egg situation, but when you are asking a black box questions, and not examining the underlying conclusions it draws, there will inevitably be problems. This is still a relatively new field, and I think caution should be exercised whenever a human is being removed from the decision-making process.

The Rise of Big Data Policing is a well-researched, and well-written book that will be a worthwhile read for anyone with an interest in law enforcement, big data or privacy.

I received a review copy from the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

four-stars
Rating Report
Writing
four-stars
Overall: four-stars

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