In light of this, the Norwegian Board of Technology has launched a project entitled “Smart policing” which aims to provide an analysis of how modern technology is likely to change the landscape of policing in the near future. The project explores diverse aspects of modern information society, such as:
- How can data-driven strategies allow the police to manage data from increasingly more varied sources and make use of modern analysis techniques to predict events, forecast trends and allocate resources more effectively?
- How does the proliferation of mobile devices, such as smartphones and tablets, change the way the police can access information and engage with the public in real time?
Modern technology provides tools to significantly enhance our capabilities to safeguard society. Not only will the police have seamless access to wide array of information sources – it can also be equipped to gather and share analyzed and enriched information with other members of the police force, with public authorities, and with the public. Police records, smartphones, sensors and social media can be combined to provide unprecedented situational awareness in real-time. While such developments are set to change existing practices in both intelligence gathering and operational policing alike, they pose very real challenges to our current notions of privacy, civil liberties, openness and transparency.
Drawing on experiences from other countries, the project aims to identify the societal implications of modern policing technology early on and to strike a fair balance between harnessing the potential of modern information sharing environments and adhering to privacy guidelines and civil liberties.