Pre-crime software for border guards


Designed for use by border guards, Unisys' LineSight software uses advanced data analytics and machine learning to help border guards decide whether to inspect travellers more closely before admitting them into their country. Unisys says the software assesses each traveller's risk beginning with the initial intent to travel and refines its assessment as more information becomes available at each stage of the journey - visa application, reservation, ticket purchase, seat selection, check-in, and arrival. The underlying assumptions are that the "initial intent to travel" can be detected, and that the software can accurately predict intentions and future actions. Unisys claims LineSight can learn from experience and automatically generate new rules and algorithms to continuously improve its accuracy. 

The company boasts of providing this software to governments around the world, including the US and Australia, and says it supports the European Commission and new EU member states with the Schengen Information System. Critics argue that decisions about which travellers should be searched more intrusively should be made on the basis of probable case, not prediction software, particularly when that software is free to make up its own rules over time.
Publication: Papers Please
Writer: Edward Hasbrouck

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