Events / Neil A. Weiner Research Speaker Series

Police Surveillance in the Age of Big Data

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Friday, Mar 2, 2018
12:30 PM — 1:30 PM
Vera Institute of Justice

In the past decade, two structural forces have intersected: the growth of the United States’ criminal justice system and the rise of ‘big data.’ However, what we know about police surveillance in the age of big data is largely speculative, focusing on the possibilities—good and bad—of new forms of big data policing. In this presentation, Professor Sarah Brayne draws on research she conducted with the Los Angeles Police Department to offer an on-the-ground account of how the police use big data in their daily operations. She analyses how mass data collection and predictive algorithms do—and do not—transform police surveillance practices, and to what consequence for crime, law, and social inequality.

Sarah Brayne is an assistant professor of sociology and faculty research associate at the Population Research Center at the University of Texas at Austin. In her research, Brayne uses qualitative and quantitative methods to examine the use of big data within the criminal justice system. She is currently writing a book on police use of predictive analytics and new surveillance technologies. Her previous work has appeared in the American Sociological Review. Prior to joining the faculty at UT-Austin, Brayne was a postdoctoral researcher at Microsoft Research New England. She received her PhD in Sociology and Social Policy from Princeton University. While at Princeton, Brayne taught sociology classes in state prisons in New Jersey.

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