129. Digital policing: false promises or the future of law enforcement?
Vasileios Galis; Anu Masso;
The digitalization of the state is underway, and policing illustrates the opportunities and risks this brings along better than any other public body. Initially, triumphally described as a super weapon in law enforcement, data driven policing software has been subsequently presented as mundane tools that bring data already available to the Police in computational interfaces. This panel focuses on how big data, humans and software re-enact crime, crime solving and/or law enforcement, taking into consideration visions, socio-technical imaginaries, and political strategies inscribed into the digitalization of law enforcement. Especially when data is moved across societies, it gives enormous opportunities to predict and control human behavior, including both the potential security harms in real-time situations or cyber risks in online environments. It raises the question on the concepts, understandings and practices of security, trust, context and prediction / predictability. We invite papers that examine success and failure stories of software that has been procured and implemented by police authorities worldwide. This panel asks: what does law enforcement mean after digitalization? How can STS inspired methodologies and conceptual frameworks contribute to studying intelligence-led policing, considering the often-non-transparent development and implementation of digital police technologies? In this panel, we aim to include a diverse set of concepts, approaches, and methods to problematize how social and cultural values, bias, are conceived and embedded in data-driven police innovations, as well as how police software has transformative effect on working processes and everyday experiences of police analysts, police officers, and citizens alike.