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Science and Technology Law

University of Michigan Law School

2021

Algorithmic systems

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The Missing Algorithm: Safeguarding Brady Against The Rise Of Trade Secrecy In Policing, Deborah Won Oct 2021

The Missing Algorithm: Safeguarding Brady Against The Rise Of Trade Secrecy In Policing, Deborah Won

Michigan Law Review

Trade secrecy, a form of intellectual property protection, serves the important societal function of promoting innovation. But as police departments across the country increasingly rely on proprietary technologies like facial recognition and predictive policing tools, an uneasy tension between due process and trade secrecy has developed: to fulfill Brady’s constitutional promise of a fair trial, defendants must have access to the technologies accusing them, access that trade secrecy inhibits. Thus far, this tension is being resolved too far in favor of the trade secret holder—and at too great an expense to the defendant. The wrong balance has been struck.

This …