Predictive Policing - Dr Morgan Currie - Data Controversies 2019
From James Stewart on March 13th, 2019
Abstract: Our ability to control our “data double” is on decline. The reliance on statistics in policymaking only reinforces what Braman labels “the dissolution of the individual into a probability”. “Big data” and predictive analytics, whether used for targeted healthcare or policing, raise important questions about the role of individual decision-making by seeming to distribute agency among machine-human hybrids. Data activism becomes a civic response to increasingly quantitative and data-driven policy and city planning. In this talk, I discuss the activities of the Stop LAPD Spying Coalition, a grassroots group in Los Angeles that organizes against the LAPD’s predictive policing programs. The group’s activist investigative report, Before the Bullet Hits the Body, offers a tactic for building political resistance against algorithmic representations, and it exposes the politics behind the data’s production and interpretation.
Morgan is Lecturer in Data and Society in Science Technology and Innovation Studies (STIS) at the University of Edinburgh. Her research engages with the relationship between data and democracy – how data infrastructures condition the possibility for forms of democratic governance, civic behaviour, and political struggle. My recent work analyses the datafication of city records, as city governments have embraced statistical tools that subject administrative records to quantification, visualisation, and other machine-readable functions. I also draw from political theories of democracy, including American pragmatism and post-structuralist critical theory, to understand how civil society can use data as a tool to contest political issues. I use fieldwork, interviews, and case study analysis to ask how these new information cultures take shape, and how they might open – or foreclose – democratic decision-making.
She earned a Ph.D. in Information Studies from University of California, Los Angeles, in 2017, and a Masters in New Media from the University of Amsterdam in 2010. Prior to her Lectureship she was a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Digital Civil Society Lab at Stanford University.https://www.wiki.ed.ac.uk/display/CIDS/2019+Week+3%3A+Resisting+Surveillance