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Interrogating the Danish POL-INTEL


Presentation at the AGOPOL Workshop, Oslo, April 8 2022.

Presentation by Björn Karlsson and Vasilis Galis.

Event: Workshop on "Algorithmic Governance and Cultures of Policing", Oslo Metropolitan University, April 8 2022.

Presentation at the AGOPOL Workshop, Oslo, April 8 2022.

File: "“They are the ones with the guns and the apps” – Interrogating the Danish POL-INTEL system" by Björn Karlsson and Vasilis Galis.

Conference website:


In this paper the first snapshot of fieldwork on the Danish police’s POL-INTEL system will be showcased. POL-INTEL is a program made by Palantir Technologies and offers the Danish police access to a wide variety of police databases as well as visualization tools such as construction of “hot spot” heat maps to organize patrols. Methodological issues are particularly pertinent in research which investigates an organization that increasingly craves data but also carefully manages what information it offers. This paper critically studies the public debate on POL-INTEL where both critics of the program, who make the case that it’s a system of mass surveillance, and its proponents suggest that the program is highly efficient and that technologies like these offer police incredible and effective tools whether used for bad or good. Furthermore, the concept of prediction – a term anathema to Danish police – is critically examined, as well as the particularities of the relations between state, police, and citizens (and non-citizens) with a focus on gender, class, and ethnicity. Lastly, considerations of what the introduction of the program and accompanying strategies does to the police organization itself on a practical level as well as a management tool is highlighted.