Pre-crime

Matthias Heeder

What if criminals could be apprehended before they can commit the actual crime? In the thrilling blockbuster Minority Report, it may still have seemed nothing more than creepy science fiction, but this documentary shows that the technology to predict crimes and arresting people beforehand is already being used.

Various countries have computer systems that use algorithms to predict which people could be possible candidates to commit crimes. These people could get arrested beforehand, preventing crimes from ever being committed. However, there is little transparency on how these algorithms actually work. In addition, this policy is diametrically opposed to a number of important human rights that guarantee that people cannot be prosecuted without reason, that they have a right to an investigation by independent authorities, and that everyone is considered innocent until proven guilty.

However, various governments have taken quite a few steps towards implementing these technologies. The film takes us from Chicago to London and from Paris to Berlin and Munich, to take a closer look at how today’s computers can already produce a list of tomorrow’s criminals. Which people are actually being protected by these applications, and who are the victims? And how far do we want to go when it comes to protecting our society?

Pre-crime is part of the Amnesty Selection theme programme.

Credits

Subtitles
EN
Director
Matthias Heeder
Country
Germany
Type
Documentary
Duration
88 minutes
Themes
crime, discrimination & racism, Internet & digital rights
Year
2017