Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

Chicago PD Believes It Can See The Future, Starts Warning Citizens About Crimes They Might Commit
TechDirt ^ | Feb 26th 2014 | Karl Bode

Posted on 03/01/2014 12:24:25 AM PST by Slings and Arrows

from the buttle/tuttle dept

We've talked a lot over the years about the attempts to get out "ahead of crime" by using computer programs and algorithms to try and predict who might commit a crime. Predictive computing can then either target specific areas or specific people that might be in need of some extra law enforcement attention. Except as we've noted repeatedly, these programs are only as valuable as the data they use. Garbage in, garbage out, but in this case you've got a human being on the other end of the equation whose life can be dramatically impacted by law enforcement holding what they believe is "proof" that you'll soon be up to no good.

With that in mind there's growing concerns about efforts in Chicago to use predictive analytical systems to generate a "heat list" -- or a list of 400 or so individuals most likely to be involved in violent crime. The Chicago efforts are based on a Yale sociologist's studies and use an algorithm created by an engineer at the Illinois Institute of Technology. People who find themselves on the list get personal visits from law enforcement warning them that they better be nice. The result is a collision between law enforcement that believes in the righteousness of these efforts and those who worry that they could, as an EFF rep states, create "an environment where police can show up at anyone's door at any time for any reason."

Law enforcement and the code creators, as you'd expect, argue that it's only the bad guys that need to worry about a system like this:
"A press liaison for the NIJ explains in an email: "These are persons who the model has determined are those most likely to be involved in a shooting or homicide, with probabilities that are hundreds of times that of an ordinary citizen." Commander Steven Caluris, who also works on the CPD's predictive policing program, put it a different way. "If you end up on that list, there's a reason you're there."
Unless law enforcement makes a mistake, your data is wrong (which it often will be), or we decide to expand the program significantly, right? Another concern bubbling up in Chicago is that the programs are effectively using racial profiling to target already-troubled areas where crime naturally would be greater due to poverty, without anybody bothering to perform a deeper analysis of why those areas might be having problems (aka targeting symptoms, not disease):
"...how are we deciding who gets on the list and who decides who gets on the list?" (EFF staff attorney Hanni) Fakhoury asks..."Are people ending up on this list simply because they live in a crappy part of town and know people who have been troublemakers? We are living in a time when information is easily shareable and easily accessible," Fakhoury says. "So, let's say we know that someone is connected to another person who was arrested. Or, let's say we know that someone's been arrested in the past. Is it fair to take advantage of that information? Are we just perpetuating the problem?" He continues: "How many people of color are on this heat list? Is the list all black kids? Is this list all kids from Chicago's South Side? If so, are we just closing ourselves off to this small subset of people?"
Chicago PD denies that there's any "racial, neighborhood, or other such information" being used in their heat list calculations, but a FOIA request to actually confirm that was denied, under the pretense that releasing such information could "endanger the life or physical safety of law enforcement personnel or any other person." So yeah, there's great transparency at work here as well.

Predictive computing is excellent for a good many things, from improving traffic congestion to designing sewer networks, but calculating the future movements of highly complicated and emotional human beings is a bridge too far. It's not particularly difficult to imagine a future where law enforcement (not always known for nuanced thinking or honest crime stat record keeping) starts using their belief in the infallibility of mathematics as the underpinnings for bad behavior, with the horrible experiences of the falsely accused dismissed as anecdotal experiences ("well shucks, most of the time the system is right, so its existence is justified"). It might just be time for a re-watch of Terry Gilliam's Brazil with an eye on reminding ourselves what a simple clerical error can do to the Archibald Buttles of the world.


TOPICS: Crime/Corruption; Extended News; Government; US: Illinois
KEYWORDS: confrontationwatch; feos; minorityreport; napl; precognition; thoughtcrime
What could possibly go wrong?
1 posted on 03/01/2014 12:24:25 AM PST by Slings and Arrows
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: Slings and Arrows; MeekOneGOP; Conspiracy Guy; DocRock; King Prout; Darksheare; OSHA; ...
Silly me, I thought that Minority Report was fiction.


2 posted on 03/01/2014 12:25:33 AM PST by Slings and Arrows (Richard Warman censors free speech.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Slings and Arrows

“Chicago PD denies that there’s any “racial, neighborhood, or other such information” being used in their heat list calculations”

So it’s like Minority Report’ but with actual minorities involved?


3 posted on 03/01/2014 12:27:42 AM PST by max americana (fired liberals in our company last election, and I laughed while they cried (true story))
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

Comment #4 Removed by Moderator

To: bakeneko

If I was sure that it was purely political pork I’d worry less. Keep in mind that this administration considers veterans, Tea Partiers, and observant Christians and Jews as time bombs waiting to go off.


5 posted on 03/01/2014 12:42:47 AM PST by Slings and Arrows (Richard Warman censors free speech.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 4 | View Replies]

Comment #6 Removed by Moderator

To: bakeneko

Chicago was rated as one the top 15 American cities to leave! Rahm does not want to offend the blacks so he won’t hire more police or enforce criminal
prosection.

Remember Rahm is Obama’s really, really close buddy.


7 posted on 03/01/2014 1:42:20 AM PST by ChiMark (America no more)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 4 | View Replies]

To: Slings and Arrows

“an environment where police can show up at anyone’s door at any time for any reason.”

Creepy, very creepy.

The same people who think this is a good idea think that it’s racist to profile Muslims in airport security lines.

What could go wrong?


8 posted on 03/01/2014 4:42:08 AM PST by generally (Don't be stupid. We have politicians for that.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]

To: Slings and Arrows
 photo DeptofPrecrime_zps58823f9d.jpg
9 posted on 03/01/2014 5:14:30 AM PST by mykroar (We fight, get beat, rise, and fight again. - Nathanael Greene)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: max americana
So it’s like Minority Report’ but with actual minorities involved?

Well played, sir. Well, played.

10 posted on 03/01/2014 5:15:28 AM PST by Flick Lives ("I can't believe it's not Fascism!")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: Slings and Arrows
What a great way to even the Prison field. How will they fit 80%
of White youth into those predictions?
11 posted on 03/01/2014 5:23:47 AM PST by MaxMax (Pay Attention and you'll be pissed off too! FIRE BOEHNER, NOW!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Slings and Arrows

fl


12 posted on 03/01/2014 5:34:10 AM PST by maine-iac7 (Christian is as Christian does - by their fruits)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Slings and Arrows
What could possibly go wrong?

They have a safety net built in. They will only use it on the folks who have a history of crime - White/Heterosexual/Christian/Gun Owner/Conservative...

13 posted on 03/01/2014 5:37:07 AM PST by trebb (Where in the the hell has my country gone?)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Slings and Arrows
Another concern bubbling up in Chicago is that the programs are effectively using racial profiling to target already-troubled areas where crime naturally would be greater due to poverty...

Another concern bubbling up in Chicago is that the programs are effectively using racial profiling to target already-troubled areas where poverty naturally would be greater due to crime...

Fixed it!

A little.

14 posted on 03/01/2014 5:49:53 AM PST by metesky (Brethren, leave us go amongst them! - Rev. Capt. Samuel Johnston Clayton - Ward Bond, The Searchers)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Slings and Arrows

Everyone on this board will be getting letters soon.


15 posted on 03/01/2014 6:14:08 AM PST by grobdriver (Where is Wilson Blair when you need him?)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Slings and Arrows

Hello. Chicago city police department. How may I help you?

16 posted on 03/01/2014 6:26:07 AM PST by lowbridge
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: MaxMax

GIGO.


17 posted on 03/01/2014 8:18:18 AM PST by Slings and Arrows (Richard Warman censors free speech.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 11 | View Replies]

To: Slings and Arrows; COUNTrecount; Nowhere Man; FightThePower!; C. Edmund Wright; jacob allen; ...
The money quote from the thread:

If I was sure that it was purely political pork I’d worry less. Keep in mind that this administration considers veterans, Tea Partiers, and observant Christians and Jews as time bombs waiting to go off.

Nut-job Conspiracy Theory Ping!

To get onto The Nut-job Conspiracy Theory Ping List you must threaten to report me to the Mods if I don't add you to the list...

18 posted on 03/01/2014 8:28:50 AM PST by null and void (<--- unwilling cattle-car passenger on the bullet train to serfdom)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]

To: Slings and Arrows

19 posted on 03/01/2014 8:44:08 AM PST by bgill
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Slings and Arrows
Law enforcement and the code creators, as you'd expect, argue that it's only the bad guys that need to worry about a system like this:

But they're not looking at bad guys. They're looking at POTENTIAL bad guys.

And ANYBODY could qualify.

After all, all us bitter, right wing, Bible thumping, gun clingers are already on their lists as "domestic terrorists".

20 posted on 03/01/2014 8:51:32 AM PST by metmom (...fixing our eyes on Jesus, the Author and Perfecter of our faith....)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: null and void

The Chicago Way


21 posted on 03/01/2014 9:19:23 AM PST by Nifster
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 18 | View Replies]

To: Slings and Arrows; bakeneko; null and void

...this administration considers veterans, Tea Partiers, and observant Christians and Jews as time bombs waiting to go off.

22 posted on 03/01/2014 9:44:05 AM PST by Old Sarge (TINVOWOOT: There Is No Voting Our Way Out Of This)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]

To: Old Sarge; null and void

I’ll collect my prize at the local Re-Education Center.


23 posted on 03/01/2014 12:11:28 PM PST by Slings and Arrows (Richard Warman censors free speech.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 22 | View Replies]

To: Slings and Arrows

“Citizenry Believes It Can See The Future, Starts Warning LEOs About Crimes They (LEOs) Might Commit.”

There. Fixed it.


24 posted on 03/01/2014 1:18:31 PM PST by dagogo redux
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: dagogo redux

I’m sure the CPD will be fine with that.


25 posted on 03/01/2014 1:29:52 PM PST by Slings and Arrows (Richard Warman censors free speech.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 24 | View Replies]

To: Slings and Arrows

Pre-crime.

You watch TV, TV watches you.

All email, texts, chats stored.

Phones with GPS features that map the INSIDE of your house.

How is this NOT beyond 1984?


26 posted on 03/01/2014 7:43:28 PM PST by gaijin
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson