Algorithms and Regulation

Technological progress could constitute a huge benefit for law enforcement: greater efficiency, effectiveness and speed of operations as well as more precise risk analyses, including the discovery of unexpected correlations, which could feed nourish profiles. A number of new tools entail new scenarios for information gathering, as well as the monitoring, profiling and prediction of individual behaviours, thus allegedly facilitating crime prevention: algorithms, artificial intelligence, machine learning and data mining. Law enforcement authorities have already embraced the assumed benefits of big data. However, there is great need for an in-depth debate about the appropriateness of using algorithms in machine-learning techniques in in criminal justice, assessing how the substance of legal protection may be weakened.