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posted by n1 on Thursday August 28 2014, @11:55AM   Printer-friendly
from the it-wasn't-me dept.

David Kravets writes that US Senator Claire McCaskill (D-MO) says police departments nationwide should require their officers to wear body cameras in order to qualify for the hundreds of millions of dollars in federal funding they receive each year. "Everywhere I go, people now have cameras," said McCaskill during a question-and-answer session with voters in her home state of Missouri. "And police officers are now at a disadvantage because someone can tape the last part of an encounter and not tape the first part of the encounter. And it gives the impression that the police officer has overreacted when they haven't."

Only a small number of US police departments have outfitted their officers with body cameras, including forces in Fresno, California; Oakland; Rialto, California; Pittsburgh; Salt Lake City; and Cincinnati. A recent study with the Rialto Police Department showed that use-of-force incidents and citizen complaints have been dramatically curtailed since the department began wearing body cams [PDF].

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  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 28 2014, @03:44PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 28 2014, @03:44PM (#86766)

    More than that:

    (1) Access to a recording should require a full-blown warrant, not just a court clerk signing off, or a national security letter.
    (2) Without a warrant there is absolutely no access at all, and that includes automated access like facial recognition, speech recognition, license plate scanning, etc.
    (3) Inevitably someone will decide that such a huge store of data is "too valuable to waste," so to prevent anyone changing the rules at a later date, no recordings are stored in the clear. They should be encrypted and the only copy of the keys are held by a 3rd party who only gives them up in response to a full-blown warrant from #1 above
    (4) Without a warrant, recordings must expire. Somewhere on the order of 1 year. This policy is to reduce the chilling effect on citizens of a permanent record of everything they do in the vicinity of the police. The older the recordings the less likely they are to be useful for a legitimate investigation anyway.