Public camera surveillance is biased (confirmed by empirical study)

The Conversation reports on a recent study about CCTV and bias in crime investigations, under the header “The camera never lies? Our research found CCTV isn’t always dependable when it comes to murder investigations

The authors of that study write:

“…the evidence we gathered during our study of British murder investigations and trials reveals how, like other forms of evidence such as DNA and fingerprints, CCTV footage requires careful interpretation and evaluation and can be misleading.”

“Instead of providing an absolute “truth”, different meanings can be obtained from the same footage. But understanding the challenges and risks associated with CCTV footage is vital in a fair and transparent system to prevent possible miscarriages of justice.”

The authors discuss a number of potential issues with the use of cameras, such as retention, image quality, and the pitfalls of reliance on self-declared ‘super recognizers’. One important consideration that seems to be lacking is that the very spatial distribution and implementation of CCTv is already biassed toward certain neighborhoods and are deemed unsafe or prove to criminality. I would have liked to know more about this kind of underlying spatial injustice. Now the considerations on bias and exclusion are just about the image interpretation phase, not not comprehensively about the steps before (or after).

Link to article >>

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