back to article Academics tell UK lords that folk aren't keen on predictive policing, facial recognition, heightened surveillance

Senior UK lawmakers are being warned of an emerging pushback against the use of smart technology such as facial recognition, increased surveillance, and predictive policing to fight crime. Leading academics have advised there is no single approach – or response to – the issue of employing algorithmic tools for law enforcement …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The Government is singing from the Philip K Dick Songbook because ...

    ... they've exhausted the George Orwell Instruction Manual.

    1. macjules Silver badge
      Big Brother

      Re: The Government is singing from the Philip K Dick Songbook because ...

      Think they threw that one away some time ago and opted for a state like Yevgeny Zamyatin's We, where everyone lives in an urban nation constructed almost entirely of glass, which assists mass surveillance.

      1. yetanotheraoc

        Re: The Government is singing from the Philip K Dick Songbook because ...

        Should be constructed of one-way mirrors.

  2. David Austin

    Tentative yay?

    It sounds like they're asking the right questions.

    Just have to see if they get the right answers out of the fact finding, or if the departmental copy of Reason from WayForward Technologies II still works.

  3. elsergiovolador Silver badge


    They think that they can actually sit back and chase criminals while sipping champagne, or that apprehending a criminal will be as simple as running a database query and inserting person's ID into the arrest queue and then magically when camera spots the person it will fire a net and self driving police car will load the criminal and transport to one of the private prisons. The AI would already judge and convict based on big data and administer adequate time and other penalties, automatically taken off bank accounts.

    The prisoner will be then forced to work for one of the party donor corporations.

    They are so fixated on this utopia, they'll even push for half baked policies that will take some edge off that power withdrawals.

    1. Pascal Monett Silver badge

      Re: Distractions

      Person of Interest - it's not a fiction, it's a documentary before its time.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Distractions

      Combine that with police chiefs who 'came up through the ranks' = didn't finish school.

      When we were selling software to the Met in the 2000s I remember one explaining to me how DNA would allow them to get a picture of the suspect. They didn't think there was a database, they literally believed that DNA = blueprint of a person = generate their exact face/body

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      The prisoner will be then forced to work for one of the party donor corporations.

      Or sent to a Slave Gulag and forced to pick those vegetables that are rotting in the fields.

  4. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

    Be careful what you wish for ......

    "Predictive policing" ....... aka crazy guesswork whenever engaging disturbed and disturbing citizenry ‽ .

    Launch that program ...... be prepared for fireworks and explosive implosions.

    1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      Re: Be careful what you wish for ......

      This isn't America where you simply have to arrest shoot the black person.

      In the UK you need "dynamic policing" to switch seamlessly from arresting the first Irish suspect, to the first scruffy protestor suspect to the first Muslim looking suspect to the first ....

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Be careful what you wish for ......

        to the first ....

        who fits some expert generated profile of being not totally the same as everyone else (ie. slightly non conformist, atypical, odd or unusual). CF. Christopher Jefferies, and many others.

  5. This post has been deleted by its author

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Me....or Peter Thiel?

    Minority Report......"pre-crime"......


    CCTV -- soon it will be a crime for me to wear my Guy Fawkes mask in public.


    Google, Facebook, Twitter -- soon it will be a crime to attempt to create an anonymous account.


    My Morris 1000 Traveller -- soon I will be forced to retrofit "phone home" technology.


    And all the while my identity and my health records are being sold off to Peter Thiel and Palantir........who's the real criminal? Is it really me?

    1. Plest Bronze badge

      Re: Me....or Peter Thiel?

      We already know who you are. Please stay where you are and the authorities will with you shortly to take you for re-education. Please do not try to leave your current location.

    2. GloriousVictoryForThePeople

      Re: Me....or Peter Thiel?

      > soon I will be forced to retrofit "phone home" technology

      As long as its authentic Lucas (aka The Prince of Darkness) kit, you should be good

    3. Winkypop Silver badge

      Re: Me....or Peter Thiel?

      You have a Morris 1000 Traveller?


    4. ThatOne Silver badge

      Re: Me....or Peter Thiel?

      > who's the real criminal? Is it really me?

      Of course it's you. By "you" we mean yourself or one of the million other peons around you, you all look alike to us: Countless, filthy, unreliable, useless, annoying critters. One only needs so many gardeners, chauffeurs, housekeepers, maids and janitors. The rest of you is not only utterly useless, but also and above all a potential danger.

  7. EVP

    ”Philip K Dick is rolling in his grave”

    He is probably halfway through boring to China by now.

  8. David Pearce

    Fahrenheit 451

    Remember that when the police robot dogs could not catch Montag, they just hunted down a credible substitute and killed him to be seen winning. They had a database of usable victims

  9. ThatOne Silver badge

    Magical thinking

    > predictive policing, facial recognition, heightened surveillance

    OMG, they're still looking for the magical formula which will allow to easily and effortlessly bag all (potential) criminals...

    Not so long ago it was the shape of your skull that told the cops if you were a god-fearing honest citizen or a devious criminal. Of course this didn't actually work, so it was eventually abandoned, but not before having wreaked havoc on many innocent lives.

    What a chance computer have been invented, allowing us to make errors even faster now.

    1. David Pearce

      Re: Magical thinking

      You missed a bit ....effortlessly bag all (potential) criminals or political opponents

      1. ThatOne Silver badge

        Re: Magical thinking

        Isn't that the same thing?

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