Privacy SOS

The “presumption of innocence” is a core value of our criminal justice system.  Where intelligence used to mean gathering information for discrete criminal investigations, the definition of intelligence in the 21st century has been re-written to include the broad collection of information about everyday activities in hopes of detecting (and preventing) future behavior. 

In database-led or “predictive” policing, computer algorithms detect signs of “pre-crime” in an arena in which we are all potential suspects.  We have entered a world similar to that depicted in the 2002 film “Minority Report,” which features a specialized “Department of Pre-Crime” where psychic “precogs” discern which “criminals” to pursue before they commit crimes.

© 2019 ACLU of Massachusetts.