California Police try ‘Minority Report’ Tech

The Washington Post reports that the Fresno Police Department in central California are using new specialized software that uses huge batches of data, ranging from criminal history to Twitter feeds, to assess how likely someone is to commit a crime and whether the police ought to keep tabs on them.

Fresno's program named Beware, built by the security company Intrado, assigns one of three levels of threat to a person or location based on billions of data points which include criminal history, social media posts, property history, and deep web searches. Green is safe, Yellow is possible threat, Red is danger.

Advocates of the program say it gives police officers a much better overview of potential threats quickly using more data than they would have access to individually. Those that oppose the program argue that it violates the privacy of the average law abiding citizen and potentially paints individuals or locations with a stigma based on potentially inaccurate or out of date information.