A start-up company called ELUCD makes money by measuring public sentiment towards law enforcement.
According to an article in TechCrunch, Michael Simon a former Obama campaign manager, purchases ads on apps like Candy Crush which the NYPD uses to gauge public sentiment in real-time.
Police call ELUCD polls a public sentiment meter…
Police in New York City use ELUCD to send poll questions to citizens 24 hours a day seven days a week.
How bad can it be?
People could just choose not to use the app, problem solved right?
Wrong, the NYPD polls are on more than one app.
If you are like me, trying to find out which apps are secretly spying on your location etc., is bad enough. But now, we have to worry about 50, 000 apps that happily ask us questions about the police.
Where does the madness end?
According to the NY Times, ELUCD uses location (tracking) technology to ask citizens questions like “do you feel safe in your neighborhood? Do you trust the police? Are you confident in the New York Police Department? 24 hours a day 7 days a week.
What they are really saying is ELUCD and law enforcement are using 50,000 apps to influence and spy on people in real-time.
One should assume that law enforcement is using ELUCD’s data to identify individual cell phone users. As Tech Crunch revealed, the NYPD is keeping all the data they collect a secret.
ELUCD hopes that police departments across the country will use ELUCD to gauge people’s sentiments.
“The fact that they’ve got NYPD first, and that’s a model police force for the country… You get them… and it makes every sale after it easier,” Seibel says.
How long will it be before everyone is required to respond to a police departments questions? Will citizens be given threat assessments based on their responses? Will police detain and question citizen’s who give them negative responses?
Because this is America and law enforcement has become an image business much like a sports team, they are worried about the public’s perception of them.
An excerpt from ELUCD’s Data Scientist job openings section, reveals how the government could use their surveys to influence public sentiment about law enforcement.
“We are tackling one of the most important issues of our time — the relationship between governments and the communities that they serve, starting with policing. Success for us means impact on hundreds of millions of people around the U.S. and billions around the world.”
An article in the Medium revealed how law enforcement could use ELUCD’s polls to change the ‘public’s trust and perceptions of policing’.
If you have any doubts about law enforcement trying to influence public sentiment read my article ‘FCC creates national Blue Alert system just in time for the holidays’ or read about the FBI’s free media relations course that is designed to “promote a consistent, positive public image of your department, your community will come to perceive their police as an agency they can depend on and trust” .
I would not be surprised to find out that the FBI suggested police departments acquire ice cream trucks to influence public sentiment. (Click here to read more.)
American law enforcement needs a lot more than polls, media centers and ice cream trucks to change public sentiment.