A Conversation on Big Data, Surveillance, and Policing


March 8, 2018 @ 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm
205 South Hall, UC Berkeley
Bancroft Way & Telegraph Ave
Berkeley, CA 94704

Catherine Crump & Andrew Guthrie Ferguson

This event will feature a conversation between scholars interested in issues related to surveillance, policing, and civil liberties. In his talk, The Rise of Big Data Policing, Andrew Guthrie Ferguson will focus on how cutting-edge technology is changing how the police do their jobs, and why it is more important than ever that citizens understand the far-reaching consequences of big data surveillance as a law enforcement tool. He will reveal how these new technologies – viewed as race-neutral and objective – have been eagerly adopted by police departments hoping to distance themselves from claims of racial bias and unconstitutional practices. Yet behind the data are real people, and difficult questions remain about racial discrimination and the potential to distort constitutional protections.

In her presentation, Surveillance Policy Making By Procurement, Catherine Crump will discuss ways in which federal funding for surveillance equipment disrupts local accountability mechanisms that typically regulate policing. These federal funding programs generally are designed to prevent terrorism but in reality are overwhelmingly used for routine law enforcement purposes. The talk will discuss in detail the structural and institutional features that lead local law enforcement agencies to adopt surveillance technology that is out of step with community norms, and will review the ways in which some local communities have passed laws in an attempt to address this issue systematically.

A light lunch is included for attendees who RSVP in advance.



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