The ATF Office of Strategic Intelligence and Information is planning to conduct psychographic analysis and profiling on pro-pun, second amendment citizens, in order to predict future criminal behaviors. On March 28 the federal law enforcement organization, which is a branch of the US Department of Justice, filed a solicitation notice for a “massive online data repository system.” The Bureau asked that the database be capable of working for at least five years.
This massive online database shall be capable of bringing up many fined grained individual personal traits and connections to other individuals with just a few keystrokes. The system would be capable of storing long-term historical characteristics of personal information that is essential for understanding detailed demographics (quantifiable statistics of a given population).
The ATF states it wants to “speed-up the demographic profile of its criminal investigations.” Instead of requiring an analyst to “manually search around for personal information,” the database should “obtain exact matches from partial source data searches” such as social security numbers, vehicle serial numbers, age range, ethnic characteristics, phonetic name spelling, or a general area where your address is located. Input that data, and out comes your identity, while the computer automatically establishes connections you have with others.
In addition to detailed demographic analyses, the online repository will be capable of performing sophisticated psychographics analyses (study of personality, values, and attitudes). By using quantitative and qualitative data science methodologies, composite “pictures of what people could do” in the future could be created – what some ATF officials are calling “criminal precognition.” For example, the bureau believes this kind of intelligent database system will be able to track you down and find out who your friends are, accelerating the ability to trace gun transactions currently “limited by Congressional restrictions.”
While it is unclear how such a system will be used in the future, data scientists are speculating that it could be used in part of a more “comprehensive national background check.” In addition to restricting gun ownership based on previous criminal activities (e.g., previous federal convictions, past violent behavior, etc.), the ATF could begin to restrict gun ownership based on future behaviors predicted by the massive online profiling system. Sources close to this project state, “through today’s predictive data science technologies, we will be able to punish people for gun crimes they could commit in the future.”