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News Posted on May 5, 2017

Professor Joh Interviewed on Police Technology by The Intercept

Professor Elizabeth Joh was interviewed by The Intercept for an article on civil liberties and new police technologies.  Professor Joh raised concerns about the increasing use of body cameras by police and the creation of artificial intelligence programs that claim to recognize suspicious behavior, among other issues.

Professor Joh pointed out that companies like Axon (formerly Taser International) that provide technologies to police often require departments to sign nondisclosure agreements that allow them to defend their computing systems from public scrutiny.

“Typically we think we have oversight into what police can do,” said Joh. “Now we have a third-party intermediary, they have a kind of privacy shield, they’re not subject to state public record laws, and they have departments sign contracts that they are going to keep this secret.”

The companies that produce law enforcement technologies have tremendous power to shape the ways these technologies are used, Joh said. “They get to shape the language that we use, they get to set the agenda, they get to say ‘this is possible’ and therefore the police can do it.”

Professor Joh's scholarship focuses on criminal procedure and policing, with a special emphasis on DNA evidence, undercover policing, and new surveillance technologies. She is the recipient of King Hall’s 2017 Distinguished Teaching Award.