Technology has drastically shaped our society and our lives, with equal potential for both incredible good and devastating harm. Join us for a conversation with Brad Smith, President of Microsoft, to discuss his newly released book, Tools and Weapons: The Promise and the Peril of the Digital Age, in the context of policing technology, with special emphasis on the ethics of AI, privacy legislation and the need for regulation on facial recognition.
The Policing Project’s new blog series aims to aid in this purpose by providing basic information on one of the more complex—and rapidly changing—areas of policing: the use of biometric technologies. For our first blog in this series, we explore face recognition, covering some common questions like, “How are police using this technology?” and “How does the technology work?”
How do we know what works in policing and what doesn’t? Often, the answer is, “We don’t.” As Policing Project Faculty Director Barry Friedman and extern Kate Mather explain in a new editorial for Just Security, evidence-based policing is still a niche approach struggling to find its place in mainstream law enforcement.
In a report produced with the Policing Project, Axon’s AI and Policing Technology Ethics Board concluded that face recognition technology is not yet reliable enough to justify its use on body-worn cameras, and expressed particular concern regarding evidence of unequal and unreliable performance across races, ethnicities, genders and other identity groups.
While many cities are dealing with complications associated with new and emerging technology, state surveillance has a special historic significance in Oakland, California, where privacy advocates have successfully established a formal entity with the teeth to ensure public oversight of the use of surveillance tech.