Public debate: Do Big Data and law enforcement go hand in hand?
On December 14, the IT University headed research project CUPP and PROSA are hosting a public seminar and debate on data driven policing. Panelists include Palantir Technologies representative Paula Kift, former DPO of the National Police of Denmark, Christian Wiese Svanberg, and Jesper Lund from the IT Political Association.
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Written November 10, 2021 2:40 PM by Theis Duelund Jensen
With the increased digitalization on all levels of society and the advent of data driven law enforcement, the debate over civil liberties and the social contract between the state and the public is as important as ever. What are the problems inherent to data intelligence driven policing? Does law enforcement run the risk of violating civil liberties by employing digital practices?
These are questions that will be debated during a public seminar and debate hosted by the ITU led research project CUPP (Critical Understanding of Predictive Policing) and PROSA, the Danish union of IT-professionals, on December 14. The debate panel will among others feature Privacy and Civil Liberties Engineer, Paula Kift, from Palantir Technologies, a US-based company specialized in creating digital data driven analysis tools for law enforcement.
»Since 2017, Danish police has relied on a Palantir Technologies developed system called Pol-Intel which joins police databases and aides law enforcement with pattern recognition and subsequent crime prevention. However, critics have raised concerns over potential violations of civil liberties in predictive policing – a practice Danish authorities have denied engaging in.
The problem with Pol-Intel is that opinions on what the system actually is and does vary depending on who you ask. Critics will say that it is a profiling tool, while law enforcement representatives will say that it’s a simple search engine for police officers.
Vasilis Galis, ITU «
“The problem with Pol-Intel is that opinions on what the system actually is and does vary depending on who you ask. Critics will say that it is a profiling tool, while law enforcement representatives will say that it’s a simple search engine for police officers, so there is a lot of interpretive flexibility,” says Associate Professor of Business IT at ITU, Vasilis Galis, who heads up the CUPP project.
CUPP is the result of an international collaboration between five countries – Estonia, Latvia, UK, Sweden, and Denmark – and the aim is to subject the pervasive digitalization of law enforcement to academic scrutiny and create public awareness.
“What is really interesting about the seminar’s panel debate is the fact that we have three different perspectives on the issue represented. Christian Wiese Svanberg is former DPO of the National Police of Denmark and played an instrumental part in acquiring Pol-Intel for the Danish police. Jesper Lund of the IT Political Association is very critical of the software from a privacy and transparency informed viewpoint, and Paula Kift represents the developer’s perspective on the issue,” says Vasilis Galis.
The panel debate is preceded by Associate Professor at DTU, Christian Damsgaard, who will present a talk on the current practices of data driven policing.
The seminar is the first in a series of CUPP events intended to critically examine the use of Pol-Intel and its implications for society. The seminar is free and open to the public, and you can register for the event via CUPP’s website.
Theis Duelund Jensen, Press Officer, Tel: +45 2555 0447, email: firstname.lastname@example.org