Examining the Constitutionality of Robot Enhanced Interrogation
Robot Law, Calo, Froomkin, Kerr (eds) Edward Elgar Publishing, 2016
29 Pages Posted: 12 Aug 2019 Last revised: 26 Apr 2021
Date Written: April 8, 2013
The combination of human-computer interaction (“HCI”) technology with sensors that monitor human physiological responses offers state agencies purportedly improved methods for extracting truthful information from suspects during interrogations. These technologies have recently been implemented in prototypes of automated international border kiosks, in which an individual seeking to cross a border would first have to interact with an avatar interrogator. The HCI system uses a combination of visual, auditory, infrared and other sensors to monitor an individual’s eye movements, voice, and various other qualities throughout the interaction. This information is then aggregated and analyzed to determine whether the individual is being "deceptive". This paper argues that this type of application poses serious risks to individual rights such as privacy and the right to silence. Highly invasive data collection and analysis is being integrated into a technology that is designed in a way that conceals the full extent of the interaction from those engaging with it. Border avatars are being misconstrued as technological versions of a human border agent, when in fact the technology enables a substantially more invasive interaction. The paper concludes by arguing that courts, developers, and state agencies institute strict and strong limits on how this technology is implemented and what information this emerging technology can collect from the individuals who engage with it.
Keywords: border, travel, interrogation, robot, automation, privacy, right to silence, avatar
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