Skip to content


News Posted on November 18, 2013

Professor Joh Publishes Essay on ‘Big Data' and Policing

Elizabeth Joh has published an essay on "big data," or the application of artificial intelligence to vast quantities of data, and its use by law enforcement. In an essay titled "Will Big Data Change How Police Do Their Job?" and published on The Life of the Law website, Joh notes that such techniques have been employed by law enforcement in "predictive policing," which uses statistics to forecast criminal activity.

"As someone who thinks about the regulation of policing, I wonder whether such tactics are constitutional," writes Joh. "The short answer is that we don't know yet, although criminal defendants almost certainly will challenge the use of these techniques sooner or later as Fourth Amendment violations. Investigative stops require at least reasonable suspicion, and the argument may be that predictive software cannot be the basis of that justification."

Professor Joh's scholarship focuses on criminal procedure and policing, with a special emphasis on DNA evidence, undercover policing, and new surveillance technologies.

"Will Big Data Change How Police Do Their Job?"