406: Tech in policing

Spark policing tech special
Spark episode 406: Policing special

This week on Spark we're devoting the entire episode to some of the technologies used by law enforcement. Some of the benefits of these tools and how they can improve police work, and also some of their limitations and the issues they raise. 

Josh Mitchell is a consultant with the security firm, Nuix. He tested five body cameras from five different companies and found that all of those cameras were vulnerable to hacking. Some of those vulnerabilities could allow a hacker to do location tracking, spread malware, download footage, and modify and re-upload that footage remotely. 

For many, Body Cams on police are one answer to police accountability. But while you'd think recording a police-civilian incident would make what happened clear, there are other issues at play. In July, a U.S. federal judge ruled that NYC officers wearing body cameras are required to turn their cams on for what's called "low level encounters". Darius Charney is a lawyer at the Centre for Constitutional Rights in New York. 

RideAlong is a mobile app that provides police and first responders with information on the individuals who frequently use emergency services to help them de-escalate the situation and keep everyone safe.  

Technology has revolutionized police work. But what are the ethical guidelines of using tools like AI and big data for law enforcement? Can it lead to over policing? Ryan Prox is the Senior Constable in Charge of the Crime Analytics Advisory & Development Unit at the Vancouver Police Department. 

The Toronto Police Service is planning to implement an American technology called ShotSpotter that can pinpoint when and where a gun was fired. More than 90 cities in the U.S. use the technology. Rob Maher is a "forensic audiologist". He has extensively studied methods to detect and analyze acoustic gun signals.  

Saadia Muzaffar is a Toronto tech-entrepreneur and the co-founder of Tech Reset Canada. She has some concerns about ShotSpotter including privacy and the neighbourhoods that will be monitored.


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