Dozens of Cities Have Secretly Experimented With Predictive Policing Software

The use of PredPol—a predictive policing software program that after encouraged for a debatable, unproven “broken home windows” technique to regulation enforcement—is some distance bigger than previously stated, in keeping with files acquired with the aid of Motherboard using public statistics requests. PredPol claims to use a set of rules too are expecting crime in specific 500-foot with the aid of 500-foot sections of a town so that police can patrol or surveil specific regions greater heavily.

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The files acquired using Motherboard—which include PredPol settlement documents, educational manuals and slide displays for the usage of the software, and PredPol agreement negotiation emails with government officers—have been acquired from the police departments of South Jordan, UT; Mountain View, CA; Atlanta, GA; Haverhill, GA; Palo Alto, CA; Modesto, CA; Merced, CA; Livermore, CA; Tacoma, WA; and the University of California, Berkeley the usage of public facts requests. According to the most recent census statistics available, these cities and municipalities are home to over 1 million people. In October, BoingBoing’s Cory Doctorow posted a tale speculating that these towns had contracts with PredPol, based on a nameless researcher’s take a look at the enterprise’s URL structures and login portals. These files confirm those cities have or had relationships with the organization.

One of the files the organization gave to police that became acquired with the aid of Motherboard notes that predictive policing “blessings capacity offenders” by way of stopping them from committing crimes: “That’s one less chance for them to run afoul of the felony machine, and that does benefit them,” it says. Other files shared with law enforcement listing some of PredPol’s former customers, along with an extra 15 American and British cities; one of the documents notes the employer has “many more” clients who have now not been indexed. The organization additionally retains touchy crime records indefinitely on servers owned through a third birthday celebration.

Previous reviews nation that California cities Los Angeles, Elgin, Oakland, Richmond, and Milpitas have a population of greater than 4. Seventy-two million—all used PredPol’s software at one point. The maximum current available documents acquired using Motherboard display that Modesto, Merced, and the University of California Berkeley have contracts with the employer. Livermore no longer plans to resume its agreement with PredPol, which results in this month, in keeping with those files.

PredPol slide shows covered within the files additionally declare that the organization had “current and near term deployments” in Santa Cruz, CA; Morgan Hill, CA, Fairfield, CA, Los Gatos/Monte Sereno, CA; Campbell, CA; Salinas, CA; Alhambra, CA; Lansing, MI; Seattle, WA; San Francisco, CA; Columbia, SC, and Manhattan, KS as of 2013. As of 2014, any other PredPol slide presentation claimed the organization additionally had a present-day and listened-to time period deployments in Little Rock, AK; Kent, England; Reading, PA; “and much greater.” The motherboard has no longer confirmed if these contracts are nonetheless ongoing. Still, Columbia, San Francisco, and Los Angeles police departments advised Motherboard they’ve “no responsive files” in reaction to public records requests filed with the businesses. When reached for Motherboard’s remark, PredPol CEO Brian MacDonald said that the range of lively PredPol customers is a “private internal metric.

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