Big Data Searches and the Future of Criminal Procedure

UW Professor of Law Mary D. Fan on technological probable cause and the use of digital search strategies to solve crimes.

Beginning with the tale of an unsolved mystery and expanding to the U.S. Capitol riots on January 6, 2021, UW Professor of Law Mary D. Fan takes us through a look at how crimes are being solved through the use of digital searches. Keyword and geofence warrants are now tools helping law enforcement identify unknown perpetrators. However, courts are split over their constitutionality. Search and arrest warrants are in the text of the Fourth Amendment, but how do we apply constitutional rights with “technological probable cause” and the deployment of big data searches?

Twice recognized as the large section Professor of the Year at UW Law, Mary D. Fan is the Jack R. MacDonald Endowed Chair and teaches criminal law. She has a J.D. from Yale, a master's from Cambridge and is a Ph.D. candidate in epidemiology at the University of Washington.
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