Professor Andrew Ferguson was quoted in Neon Tommy on predictive policing, a new law enforcement strategy to reduce crime by using sophisticated computer algorithms to predict criminal activity before it happens.
Prof. Ferguson says low reporting rates are part of an inherent flaw in the system. "Predictive policing is only as good as the data input,” Ferguson said. "If you have some imperfect data inputted, you’re gonna have an imperfect prediction, and if everything is based on that prediction — well, it’s not terribly reliable.”
Emory Law Journal is set to publish Ferguson’s third article examining
predictive policing methods and their impact on the Fourth Amendment,
which requires probable cause for officers to conduct searches and
reasonable suspicion to make arrests. In "Predictive Policing and the
Future of Reasonable Suspicion,” he urges the legal community and court
system to start thinking seriously about how to approach cases
concerning predictive policing.
"If a law enforcement computer algorithm can change Fourth Amendment freedoms,” Ferguson writes, "then courts have an extra responsibility to ensure that the technology meets reasonable standards of reliability and accuracy.”