“If a pedestrian is killed by a robot car, who is liable?” asks The Telegraph (UK). The rapid pace of technological advancement presents some complicated legal issues. The Telegraph takes a futuristic look at the legal implications of some emerging technologies, including self-driving cars and man-made consciousness. Read the full discussion here.
It is becoming increasingly common for school districts to allow students to bring iPads home for class assignments, and for government agencies to allow employees to use personal devices for work. Government Technology highlights the liability issues surrounding these new technologies, such as “who pays for devices when they break, get lost or are stolen.” For more information read this Govtech.com article.
Police officers already use social media to monitor criminal activity. A new feature of the LexisNexis law enforcement platform will make following criminals online substantially easier. According to a recent GCN article, “Social Media Monitor lets law enforcement agencies discover risks and threats by leveraging social media. The system can target critical incidents such as gang violence, drug dealing, crimes against children and human trafficking.” For more information, see this GCN article.
In an Albuquerque civil hearing a federal court ruled that 3D laser scanning data was admissible evidence. The judge noted that the plaintiff’s attorneys did not object to the scientific and technical validity of the 3D laser evidence or dispute whether the defendants had laid a proper scientific and technical foundation for the admissibility of this evidence. For more information, see this article in Forensic Magazine.
Police officers in San Diego have begun to use smartphones and tablets with facial recognition software to identify potential suspects from database photos. According to a Reason.com blog post, “If the experiment proves successful, in government terms, you can probably expect the blend of cops, mobile devices, and facial recognition software to come to a sidewalk near you.” For more information, see this article in the Hit & Run blog.
New Zealand’s parliament recently voted to pass the a bill that requires telecommunications companies like Gmail, Microsoft Exchange and Skype to “be intercept-ready and co-operate with the government’s spy agencies.” New Zealand City News has more information.
The State Law Enforcement Division of Columbia, South Carolina has spent over $5 million to upgrade its technology system in response to a series of computer crashes and power outages. According to the Daily Journal, the outages “kept its database of drunken driving arrests offline for more than a month, inaccessible to either prosecutors or defense attorneys.” Read more at the Daily Journal.
Government Works, a federal contractor based in Massachusetts, has been granted a contract to implement and train investigators from the Singapore Police Force (SPF) to use Brain Fingerprinting Technology. The SPF hopes that the use of Brain Fingerprinting Technology will help to make Singapore the “safest country in the world.” For more information, see this Yahoo Finance article.
“More punishment does not necessarily lead to less crime,” according to Zurich researchers who have been using computer modeling to study the origins of crime. The research suggests that crime fighting efforts must incorporate the social and economic factors that encourage crime. Read more at ScienceDaily.com.