Does the use of bodycams violate our privacy?

International research shows the benefits of bodygames. “There is no doubt that body-worn body cameras will increase the transparency of front-line trials. Everything recorded can be reviewed, scrutinized and presented as evidence.”

Does the use of bodycams violate our privacy? International research shows the benefits of bodygames. The use of body cameras by law enforcement and emergency services is a point of contention in the Netherlands between critics and supporters as well as wearers and observers.

There is a lot of uncertainty about the use of body cameras in the course of work by police officers, ambulance personnel, emergency services and special investigative officers within public sectors and the public.

Following a year-long research study conducted by the University of Cambridge in the United Kingdom with approximately two thousand officers in both the United Kingdom and the United States, the introduction of portable body cameras resulted in a 93% reduction in public complaints against a police officer, indicating that the use of the cameras leads to behavioral changes and actually has a safety component. .

The trial was conducted in seven locations in 2014 and early 2015, including police departments in areas such as the Midlands and the California coast, and involved 1,429,868 officer hours in 4,264 services in jurisdictions with two million citizens. Thanks to the use of body-worn body cameras, researchers have found complaints against the police disappear entirely.

The researchers’ important advice to wearers is to use a verbal memory of filming at the beginning of the meeting, which challenges everyone to think more consciously about their actions, so that the audience is less likely to react aggressively. As a result, individual carriers are more responsible and adjust their behavior accordingly. Thus, body cameras create a balance between the wearer’s account (vision) of the same event and the captured observer’s account (vision) = increasing responsibility and accountability on both sides.

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Marco Meyers, director of X-Surveillance, says: “The big advantage of using a body camera is the technical advantages, it brings peace and calm to the onlookers in situations, and the recorded images can also be used as evidence. There may be a drawback; An additional device has been added as a digital witness to officers’ over-dressing. It doesn’t make the body camera popular. That’s why we have developed a body camera without the use of additional equipment,” he said.

A Dutch company based in The Hague and Eindhoven has developed a body camera with the advantages described in the study, without adding additional equipment. Called the X-Surveillance DS300, a wearer such as a law enforcement officer and emergency service worker can easily replace an existing walkie-talkie with a DS300 bodycam, where multiple devices are linked together; Body camera, night vision infrared, flashlight and walkie-talkie talking key in one device. Bodycam offers the possibility to record 20 seconds before the crime and 20 seconds after the crime. This means images are always automatically recorded 20 seconds before and 20 seconds after shots. This is to increase the evidence.

“There is no doubt that body-worn body cameras will increase the transparency of front-line trials. Everything recorded can be reviewed, scrutinized and presented as evidence.” According to Cambridge University researcher Barack Ariel.

Ferdinand Woolridge

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