22 March 2009

Stasi HQ UK...where details of your journey are secretly logged and kept

I'm having a right-wing day clearly. This one appears to be from the Daily Mail, but its actually a Facebook group too, called "Eating lentils doesnt make me a terrorist suspect" Now, the Mail seems to go berserk about "profiling" which is in fact a perfectly respectable technique, designed to minimise the number of people in transit who are given a higher level of inquiry and perhaps a search so that the other travellers may move quickly.
There are huge problems with the algorithms, indeed I have given papers about the problems of cross-examining a computer in court. You can become guilty because the algorithms say you are suspicious and the step from one to the other is the step that must be prevented. Profiling means risk-profiling here. But someone needs to risk-profile the algorithms themselves and hold up their hands about what might go wrong.
The innocent may have nothing to fear, but those adjudged suspicious by the algorithms do, because being judged suspicious means youre caught up in the "no smoke without fire" mentality. You havent got a right of access to legal services when someone starts messing with your right to fly either. I hate agreeing with the Daily Mail and the brown-rice eating, open-toed sandal brigade simultaneously.

1 comment:

Bill Tupman said...

Good God, I sound like Jeremy Clarkson!