Policing False Positives: Lessons from Epidemiology

    Research output: Contribution to conference without a publisher/journalPaperResearch


    Modern crime control technologies often rely on a combination of massive amounts of data and some kind of test that allows law enforcement agencies to select interesting cases (‘positives’) from a background noise of uninteresting cases. Often, it is assumed that more data equals better security,
    since a larger data set will lead to more hits. This is in particular the assumption behind mass surveillance. Drawing lessons from epidemiology, I shall however argue that large data sets mean that the signal from true positives will drown in the noise from false positives. I shall then pursue the implications of this idea on two levels. First, the practical implications for policing of the notion that ‘small is beautiful’ when it comes to surveillance. Second, the political and ethical implications for both civil liberties and for the relation between state and citizens that the attempt to police false positives may have.
    Original languageDanish
    Publication date3 Mar 2019
    Publication statusPublished - 3 Mar 2019
    EventThe Digital Revolution and Democracy - St Petersburg State University, Faculty of Liberal Arts and Sciences, Sankt Petersborg, Russian Federation
    Duration: 1 Mar 20193 Mar 2019


    SeminarThe Digital Revolution and Democracy
    LocationSt Petersburg State University, Faculty of Liberal Arts and Sciences
    Country/TerritoryRussian Federation
    CitySankt Petersborg

    Cite this