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California City Bans Predictive Policing in U.S. First

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Artist's representation of predictive policing.

Santa Cruz, CA, is the first U.S. city to ban predictive policing.


Santa Cruz, CA, has become the first U.S. city to ban predictive policing, with Mayor Justin Cummings pointing out that it can be disproportionately biased against people of color.

Predictive policing involves the use of algorithms to interpret police records, analyze arrest or parole data, or identify places where crime may occur.

However, there are concerns that it reinforces racist policing patterns by identifying historically over-policed low-income, ethnic minority neighborhoods as crime hotspots and prompting more police to be deployed to those areas.

PredPol Inc., the Santa Cruz-based firm that pioneered the technology, said the city requirement that predictive policing "not perpetuate bias" is "a legitimate filter to be applied to any new technology acquired by a public entity, whether used for public safety or not."

Meanwhile, Boston’s City Council has voted to ban face surveillance technology.

From Reuters
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