To catch a terrorist: can ethnic profiling work?
Version of Record online: 18 NOV 2010
© 2010 The Royal Statistical Society
Volume 7, Issue 4, pages 164–167, December 2010
How to Cite
Press, W. (2010), To catch a terrorist: can ethnic profiling work?. Significance, 7: 164–167. doi: 10.1111/j.1740-9713.2010.00452.x
- Issue online: 18 NOV 2010
- Version of Record online: 18 NOV 2010
In a world threatened by terrorists from a small number of countries, it is tempting to think that racial profiling for security purposes, even if morally objectionable, might save lives. But is it mathematically sound?William Press shows that even with unrealistically perfect data it is surprisingly difficult to gain any benefit from such profiling.