Recording justice: Do policy body cameras invade individual privacy?
June 18, 2015
Body cameras can help hold cops to account, but they can also expose much more of your life than you ever bargained for
Police departments around the country are purchasing a new piece of equipment that weighs just 3.5 ounces, but has the potential to revolutionize policing in the U.S., the body-worn camera. One study shows that when police use body-worn cameras, use-of-force complaints can drop by as much as 60 percent. It’s added new urgency to the demand that all police officers wear body cameras as a check against potential abuses of power. But, as more cameras are being deployed, the potential to violate the public’s privacy grows. Cops routinely enter people’s homes and encounter bystanders and victims in very stressful situations, and the last thing a victim or suspect might want is to be filmed by police. Police body cameras are now in more than 5,000 of the nation's 18,000 police departments including New Orleans, Los Angeles and here in Chesapeake, Virginia, where we travel and take a first-hand look.