Let’s Talk About the Flock Study That Says It Solves Crime

A Flock study claims it is “instrumental in solving 10% of reported crime in U.S.” A researcher who oversaw the study is now questioning how it was done.
Let’s Talk About the Flock Study That Says It Solves Crime
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Last month, the surveillance company Flock Safety published a study and press release claiming that its automated license plate readers (ALPR) are “instrumental in solving 10 percent of reported crime in the U.S.” The study was done by Flock employees, and given legitimacy with the “oversight” of two academic researchers whose names are also on the paper. Now, one of those researchers has told 404 Media that “I personally would have done things much differently” than the Flock researchers did.

The researcher, Johnny Nhan of Texas Christian University, said that he has pivoted future research on Flock because he found “the information that is collected by the police departments are too varied and incomplete for us to do any type of meaningful statistical analysis on them.”

Flock is one of the largest vendors of ALPR cameras and other surveillance technologies, and is partially responsible for the widespread proliferation of this technology. It markets its cameras to law enforcement, homeowners associations, property managers, schools, and businesses. It regularly publishes in-house case studies and white papers that it says shows Flock is instrumental in solving and reducing crime, then uses those studies to market its products.

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