Q: What are some of the ways we're misusing technology in hopes of providing better security?
A: We're relying too much on it. There's a widespread belief that technology can somehow solve our security problems. Federal initiatives like TIA [Total Information Awareness] and CAPPS-2 [Computer Assisted Passenger Profiling System] have promised to pick terrorists out of a sea of nonterrorists. I spend a lot of time in my book explaining why it just isn't true.
And slowly, we're learning. A couple of years ago, Tampa became the first city to install cameras and face-recognition technology, with the idea of picking criminals out of crowds. Last month, the city scrapped the system, after spending millions and arresting nobody. It was a complete waste of money.