civic tech

civic tech

Evan Xie

The LAPD is facing criticism from privacy groups after SweepWizard — an app it used to conduct multi-agency raids last fall — exposed the personal data of thousands of suspects and details of police operations. Earlier this month Wired reported that LAPD and the regional Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force used a free trial version of the app to conduct multi-agency raids on sex offenders. While the app led to the arrest of 141 suspects, it also revealed sensitive details on police operations that could have put the entire mission at risk.

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Midjourney/Dall-E

It’s 8 a.m. on a Monday morning. I wave at the contact-free traffic sensor and the cars stop so I can cross. A delivery robot zooms past bringing cold brew and breakfast burritos to neighbors, while someone activates a micromobility electric scooter and glides off down a side street. An autonomous vehicle on a trial run pauses at the stop sign, guided by Global Positioning System satellites more than 12,000 miles overhead. A smart pole tracks air quality at the intersection and reports back to the data science team at City Hall.

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