Discuss: When does IoT turn us into Minority Report?

When does IoT turn us into Minority Report?
Data can tell us a lot about neighborhood safety–is there a correlation between temperature and crime? Do well-lit entryways lead to less petty theft? How often should neighbors interact with each other to prevent crime?

The Internet of Things can help us collect this data, but what we do with it is an ethical decision for us to decide. Check out the BBC article below, and ask yourself:

Core questions

  • What is the line between prevention and punishment?
  • Where should humans review data and intervene in their own local neighborhoods?

Crime fighting with big data weapons

BBC, http://www.bbc.com/news/business-26520013

Publicly shared information combined with data from local authorities, social services and intelligence gathered by beat officers is helping police forces around the world spot trouble before it starts.

It’s not quite the “pre-crime” scenario featured in the 2002 science fiction film Minority Report, but it’s getting close.

Former policeman Shaun Hipgrave, now a security consultant at IBM, said: “It’s about using big data and analytics in a smarter way. You are just giving them access to information that they never used to have before.”

When information like that becomes clear, the police can do something about it long before anyone dials 999. And that counts for people as much as it does for pubs or clubs.

The data analytics software links up with government initiatives on so-called “troubled families” that can be the nexus of a lot of problems in some towns and cities.

“When you use big data you can see the relationships between one family and another troubled family and you see the absences from school,” he said. “It creates a fuller, holistic picture.”

“This is ultimately about crime prevention,” said Mr Hipgrave, “and part of that is knowing more about a community and seeing ways to change the architecture of it.”

#Next Steps

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Are y’all floating in a tank somewhere, battling for control of the forum with your clairvoyant/telekinetic powers?

The internet has already co-opted us. Ask the folks whose vehicles were demonstrated to be controllable from afar …


(but verify anyways?)