Technology could play a key role in crime prevention

There are two facets to technology — one that aids crime and the other that helps fight it, says a tech fan.

AD: Hi, you said that you were going to invite your nephew over this month. What happened?

BC: No, he’s away on some work, but his auto reply offered me the complete details of his whereabouts, how long he would be away, his mobile number — right down to the fact that he would be locked up in day-long meetings.

AD: That’s typically how any auto reply mail would read.

BC: What if the information falls into the wrong hands — someone could break in and...

AD: Oh, c’mon, all this fuss over…

BC: Today’s professionals are forever travelling — and if you know their name and the organisation they are working for, finding out their official mail id isn’t exactly rocket science. Once you send them a mail, an auto response would reveal all the details you would want to know. Imagine, someone could actually be outside the apartment, sending a mail from their mobile phone to find out if the person is in town.

AD: You are paranoid, but I agree with you on one point — technology is making crime more daring and more difficult to solve.

BC: If you’re referring to cybercrime...

AD: Not just that. I'm also talking about the steps taken by criminals to stay undetected, like using online telephonic and chat services, and encryption technology.

BC: The scary part is that these gizmos, apps and software are commonplace and can be bought or downloaded from anywhere.

AD: That's right. Apparently, the U.S. is pioneering predictive technology, like the Omega Group’s CrimeView Dashboard, to identify and prevent crime from occurring in a particular place.

BC: How does this work?

AD: Information fed into the system helps create a snapshot of the activities in the area. If anything suspicious is detected, the security gets beefed up in that area.

BC: But can it work in large cities and in remote areas? How can they be constantly monitored?

AD: As always, you are underestimating technology — if a burglar can be caught through his DNA samples, then?

BC: How did they get his sample?

AD: That was the easy part — he left it behind when he cut himself in the place of crime.

BC: And as they say in the crime novels, the trail of blood led straight back to him. While technology is being used by the law and the lawless, shouldn't the common man have access to it to save himself?

AD: He sure should, and Life360 can help him in this task.

BC: What is it?

AD: It's an app for families to keep track of one another, in terms of their location. It also helps them stay in touch with one another, thereby ensuring everyone's safety.

BC: So each member of the family carries a mobile phone with this app — and technology provides the safety net.

AD: Right! The app sends alerts when a family member is moving from one place to another, and also offers useful information, like the location of the nearest police station or hospital.

BC: Sounds reassuring, especially in these testing times.

AD: But technology has moved beyond DNA tests — right now, scientists are experimenting with biometric techniques that study a person's feet and the way he walks, to help identify him.

BC: This will put the law in a win-win situation.

AD: How?

BC: If the criminals take to their heels, the law can catch them using this technology — and if they don’t move, they’ll get caught anyway.

sureshl.india@gmail.com

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