These three things, formerly limited to sci-fi stories and movies, could become integral in the pursuit of criminals. In fact, you might not even need to wait until 2020 to see their integration.

The present reality of law enforcement might resemble what was depicted in Minority Report years ago more than you think.

Drones: The Good, the Bad, & The Morally Grey

Despite the proliferation of civilian drones, many people are still concerned about widespread drone use by military and police personnel. To deal with the public perception of “drones”, many police units refer to them as “unmanned aerial units” instead. After new regulations from the FAA, the market for police drones expanded. Markets and Markets predicted the industry to grow to $28.27 billion by 2020.

Citizens in Los Angeles raised concerns over the expanded use of drones in police work. Their reasons: it’s a slippery slope from camera-toting drones doing surveillance to becoming spies and then becoming militarized. Despite proposed regulations to limit the impact of drones on civilians, a citizen group argues that “mission creep” is happening, regardless.

After all, if a drone is pursuing a fleeing criminal and captures images while flying across a school, business, or neighborhood, what happens to that footage? Does the police unit get to keep them and review them, potentially invading the privacy of the innocent citizens or even serving warrants?

The Stop LAPD Spying Coalition thinks so. Beyond spying, concerns of militarizing drones have risen, too, since an incident in Dallas last year. A non-flying drone shot down a suspected sniper to protect citizens but raised legitimate concerns over safety.

Some neighborhood citizens and HOAs want to ban drones or heavily regulate them. The reasons are similar: spying, potential damages, and potential invasions of privacy.

Due to the escalating nature of technology and the inevitable, increased integration of Industry 4.0, these concerns will have to be addressed sooner rather than later.

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Photo: Robotic Business Review