How accurate should government surveillance be?

How accurate should government surveillance be? In 2013, it was revealed that the U.S. government was secretly monitoring its citizens’ phone calls and internet traffic through a program called PRISM. The goal was to identify potential threats and catch would-be terrorists.

In this lesson, students calculate conditional probabilities to determine the likelihood of false-positives and false-negatives, and discuss the tradeoffs between safety and accuracy.

- Model related probabilistic events using Venn diagrams
- Apply Bayes Theorem given conditional probabilities
- Use probabilities to predict the consequences of a real-world policy