Do you remember the movie Minority Report? I remember thinking this will be a scary world once pre-crime technologies become available. Well, little did I know that that scary world is here.
In China, “the police are using a big-data rating system to rate highly suspicious groups of people based on where they go and what they do.” This is according to Fu Xialong, a spokesperson for Cloud Walk, a facial recognition firm that’s developed tracking software that gathers data on where people go and what they do.
According to the Financial Times, “if a citizen is to visit a weapons shop then the firm can combine this with other data to assess the individual’s chance of committing a crime.” Additionally, according to Mr. Fu, “if someone buys a kitchen knife that’s OK, but if the person also buys a sack and a hammer later, that person is becoming suspicious.” And forget disguises, because the software can match identifications in new locations, as well as “find people who look suspicious by walking back and forth in the same area, or who are wearing masks.” Whoa!
So, how long before these technologies reach our shores? Or, are they already here?