When a terrorist strikes, getting information fast from a tech giant can make the difference between police catching the suspects, or another attack taking place. That’s the premise of a new game created by Europol, the European body responsible for connecting the continent’s myriad policing agencies and helping them investigate major crimes.
Right now, police officers are often confused by the process. What data can they request from which provider? Can they retrieve any encrypted content from the likes of Apple or WhatsApp? What legal mechanisms should they be using? What’s the best language to use to ensure they get the information they want quickly?
Cope want data, from Facebook to TikTok
The game, exclusively shown to Forbes ahead of its release to law enforcement partners and their 4,500 officers on Wednesday, hopes to make sure police know the answers to those when an emergency happens. It looks much like Who Wants To Be A Millionaire but crossed with a create your own adventure game and without the options of phoning a friend or asking the audience. It opens with a hypothetical terror attack in which a gunman has started firing at people on a city street, killing 15 and injuring many others. When the player arrives on the scene, they learn that the suspect has fled but had worn a body camera to livestream the event. The livestream has been found, created by a profile called Bobby Cat.
The player is then offered multiple choice questions about what information they would seek, from what provider and how. Some of the questions are about processes, others are vendor specific, covering data access at established tech firms like Facebook through to newer players like TikTok. The quicker the officer is in getting the relevant data, the more points they score.