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Algorithms Used in Policing Face Policy Review


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Rep. Mark Takano (D., CA) introduced a bill last year that would impose national standards on forensic algorithms.

The U.S. Government Accountability Office is in the midst of a review of privately developed algorithms used in policing, ahead of its issuing policy recommendations for their regulation.

Credit: Amanda Andrade-Rhoades/Bloomberg News

The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) in May published the first half of a review of privately developed algorithms used in policing, ahead of its issuing policy recommendations for their regulation.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Department of Homeland Security, and other U.S. agencies use these algorithms to mine massive databases of evidence, in order to chase leads and support the prosecution of cases.

GAO’s Karen Howard said the algorithms are only as good as the underlying forensic data collected by investigators, and how they work is sometimes unclear.

The second part of the study, which will evaluate the algorithms’ accuracy and offer make policy recommendations about them, is expected later this year.

From The Wall Street Journal
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