Tracking The Homeless

San Francisco has recently come to the conclusion that the best way to address the problem of homelessness is to gather and analyze personal data.

They’ve introduced a new program called ONE system, which will gather data about the nearly 7,500 homeless people living on the streets of San Francisco.  The goal of this new system is to improve the situation for those living without a home.

Although it’s a program with some seriously respectable goals, it comes at the hefty price of privacy. Homeless people taking part will have to trade in their personal data for the chance of getting assistance from the government.

ONE System has helped nearly 70 people get off the street since August, according to reports, and has high hopes that it will succeed in reducing the homeless population to half by the year 2022.

In order to achieve this goal, the startup will be collecting data from 15 different government agencies, and will also be requesting homeless participants to complete a survey that includes details about their daily routines, medical history, as well as other personal information that could be helpful in getting them the proper assistance.

While all of this sounds great, the system still does not get rid of the obstacles that the homeless already have to deal with, such as the fact that getting housing in a low-cast adult support housing program requires passing a background check that takes a month and a half to complete.  Many homeless people are also rather skeptical to work together with the government, with the fear that they will way their way to the police.

At the moment, the data that’s been gathered has not made into the hand’s of the police, and it has not been tried to be purchased yet. However, what is rather alarming is that there aren’t any laws that prevent this from happening.

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