Law enforcement agencies across the country are increasingly using software systems for surveillance, investigations, forensic evidence, and even determinations of whom to incarcerate and for how long. As technology becomes more sophisticated and more opaque, law enforcement reliance on these algorithms raises concerns around accuracy, transparency, accountability, and due process.
On May 12, the Center for Technology Innovation at Brookings hosted a webinar focusing on forensic algorithms and the future of technology in the U.S. legal system. Experts discussed the changing landscape of the U.S. legal system as forensic technologies become more prominent and the regulatory challenges that may arise. We also heard from Rep. Mark Takano (D-Calif.), who has introduced the Justice in Forensic Algorithms Act of 2021, which would impose standards on forensic algorithms used to bring criminal convictions and prohibit the use of trade secrets law to block criminal defense scrutiny of law enforcement technologies.