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SMBlog -- 4 June 2014

A recent paper by myself and some colleagues (Prof. Renée Hutchins of the University of Maryland Law School, Prof. Tony Jebara of the Columbia University Computer Science Department, and Sebastian Zimmeck, a Columbia CS PhD student who is also an attorney) shows how to use computer science, and in particular a field called machine learning, to answer two very specific questions in Fourth Amendment law: is there some scientific basis for acceping the mosaic theory; and if so, at what point is it reached? The paper has drawn some press coverage ; it's also drawn some criticism from Prof. Orin Kerr of the George Washington University Law School. Not surprisingly, we stand by our conclusions. (I should note that we also think that the article about it is a fair representation of what we said.)