Should police use computers to predict crimes and criminals?

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — Legal cases across the country are challenging years of secrecy by America’s police departments about how they predict where crimes will occur and who will commit them.

The nation’s largest departments in New York, Chicago and Los Angeles are all being sued for not releasing information about their “predictive policing” programs.

The programs use computer algorithms to crunch large amounts of data and produce lists of people and neighborhoods for officers to target.

Groups requesting the information say they’re trying figure out how the programs work and whether they’re fair.

Police say the programs are helping to reduce and prevent crime. They say some information about the programs developed by private companies is proprietary, and there are privacy and safety concerns involving data of people listed in the systems.

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