Intelligence Led Policing

Every breathing moment of our lives, we produce data. Even sitting still at our desks, we are giving a device or service data. The location and activity information for instance (looking at you Fitbit and you chrome).

With all the information we produce with every waking (and sleeping) moment of our lives, would we be willing to give up that information if it meant that we could sleep sounder at night; that we could go partying at a nightclub without the worry that someone would come in all guns blazing; that we could look at a trashcan on the street and see a normal trashcan?

The premise of intelligence led policing is that the collection and analysis of this data would lead to reductions in crime by methods such as predictive policing that seeks to stop crimes before they even happen, smarter arrest decisions based on data that could foretell a defendant’s future and so on.

Given the recent spate of attacks, and the request by agencies for access to the perpetrators’ phones and computers, I ask myself. Is it that the police do not have enough data or is the problem that they are not effectively using the data already on hand? Is a further problem that they are not trained well enough to understand what they see in the data even when the signs are right in front of them? Is the problem that the machine learning algorithm that they have developed still needs time to learn as attacks are spread out and randomized?

So I ask you, would you voluntarily give access to your data if it meant better security for you and your family?