Hotspots and blind spots: A case of predictive policing in practice

Lauren Waardenburg*, Anastasia Sergeeva, Marleen Huysman

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book / Report / Conference proceedingConference contributionAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

This paper reports on an ethnographic study of the use of analytics in police work. We find that the introduction of predictive policing was followed by the emergence of the new occupational role of “intelligence officer”. While intelligence officers were initially intended to merely support police officers by making sense of algorithmic outputs, they became increasingly influential in steering police action based on their judgments. Paradoxically, despite the largely subjective nature of intelligence officers’ recommendations, police officers started to increasingly believe in the superiority and objectivity of algorithmic decision-making. Our work contributes to the literature on occupational change and technology by highlighting how analytics can occasion the emergence of intermediary occupational roles. We argue that amidst critical debates on subjectivity of analytics, more attention should be paid to intermediaries – those who are in-between designers and users – who may exert the most consequential influence on analytics outcomes by further black-boxing the inherent inclusion of human expertise in analytics.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationLiving with Monsters? Social Implications of Algorithmic Phenomena, Hybrid Agency, and the Performativity of Technology - IFIP WG 8.2 Working Conference on the Interaction of Information Systems and the Organization, IS and O 2018, Proceedings
EditorsCarsten Østerlund, Magnus Mähring, Ulrike Schultze, Kai Riemer, Margunn Aanestad
PublisherSpringer New York LLC
Pages96-109
Number of pages14
ISBN (Electronic)9783030040918
ISBN (Print)9783030040901
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2018
EventIFIP WG 8.2 Working Conference on the Interaction of Information Systems and the Organization, IS and O 2018, Proceedings - San Francisco, United States
Duration: 11 Dec 201812 Dec 2018

Publication series

NameIFIP Advances in Information and Communication Technology
Volume543
ISSN (Print)1868-4238

Conference

ConferenceIFIP WG 8.2 Working Conference on the Interaction of Information Systems and the Organization, IS and O 2018, Proceedings
CountryUnited States
CitySan Francisco
Period11/12/1812/12/18

Keywords

  • Algorithms
  • Analytics
  • Data-driven work
  • Future of work
  • Occupational change
  • Predictive policing

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  • Cite this

    Waardenburg, L., Sergeeva, A., & Huysman, M. (2018). Hotspots and blind spots: A case of predictive policing in practice. In C. Østerlund, M. Mähring, U. Schultze, K. Riemer, & M. Aanestad (Eds.), Living with Monsters? Social Implications of Algorithmic Phenomena, Hybrid Agency, and the Performativity of Technology - IFIP WG 8.2 Working Conference on the Interaction of Information Systems and the Organization, IS and O 2018, Proceedings (pp. 96-109). (IFIP Advances in Information and Communication Technology; Vol. 543). Springer New York LLC. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-04091-8_8