Koreantoast writes: It's no secret that governments across the globe have been taking advantage of new technologies to create stronger surveillance systems on citizens. While many have focused on the actions of intelligence agencies, local police departments continue to create more sophisticated systems as well. A recent article highlights one new system deployed by the Fresno, California police department, Intrado's Beware. The system scours police data, public records, social media, and public Internet data to provide a "threat level" of a potential suspect or residency. The software is part of a broader trend of military counterinsurgency tools and algorithms being repurposed for civil use. While these tools can help police manage actively dangerous situations, providing valuable intel when responding to calls, the analysis also raises serious civil liberties questions both in privacy (where the data comes from) and accuracy (is the data valid, was the analysis done correctly). Also worrying are the long term ramifications to such technologies: there has already been some speculation about "citizen scores," could a criminal threat score be something similar? At very least, as Matt Cagle of the ACLU noted, "there needs to be a meaningful debate... there needs to be safeguards and oversight."
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