Privacy and Security and Artificial Intelligence

Article Snapshot


Bennett Capers


Ohio St. J. Crim. L., Vol. 15, pp. 495-500, 2017-2018


Technology could help make the criminal justice system more egalitarian. Technologies could reduce racially motivated police violence, racial profiling, and under-enforcement of crime in communities of color.

Policy Relevance

Surveillance technologies could be used to reduce racial bias.

Main Points

  • In the future, implanted RFID microchips might be used in criminal justice, just as photographs, fingerprints, and DNA samples are used to trace arrestees; chips could be planted in those released on bail, prisoners eligible for parole, or sex offenders.
  • Technology could be harnessed to de-bias and de-racialize policing; "Big Brother" could be reimagined as protective, as someone who is there to tell our side of the story.
  • Three aspects of policing should be made more egalitarian, but have proven intractable to reform. These include:
    • Police violence against racial minorities.
    • Racial profiling.
    • Under-enforcement of property and violent crimes in communities of color.
  • Increased use of public surveillance cameras, facial recognition technology, big data, and distance scanning for firearms could promote race-blind policing; police could identify actual criminals using less intrusive methods.
  • Surveillance technologies could help with under-enforcement, because fewer officers would be needed for routine "stop-and-frisk" methods.
  • Technologies that allow police to issue tickets without leaving their vehicles could reduce pretextual stops motivated by racial and class bias.
  • Requiring citizens to stop and identify themselves on request allows only those privileged by race and class to enjoy public privacy; microchips carried in smartphones to enable identification from afar could offer advantages.
  • The United States Supreme Court should become a loyal foot soldier for the people, rather than for the police.

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