Cops to wear cameras in Palo Alto
Original post made on Nov 14, 2013
Read the full story here Web Link posted Thursday, November 14, 2013, 9:58 AM
on Nov 14, 2013 at 11:25 am
This is a pleasant surprise. For the most part, there have not been a large number of complaints about the Palo Alto Police, in terms of how they deal with the publicbut then, the responsibility for reporting what might be unacceptable behavior was the responsibility of the person who had some sort of interaction with the Police. Having actual recordings of the individual interactions opens the door to a new level of police accountability.
However, we now know that the Federal government, through the NSA, the IRS, and now, our credit cards and medical records, has put the American people, and much of the world, under the microscope of one branch, or another, of the Federal government. The introduction of automatic license plate readers allows local police to accumulate data on our movements, with little accountability (at the moment) as to the retention, and use, of this data. Now, these wearable cameras sets the stage for stripping another layer of privacy, for people who have interactions with the police, as well as possibly the public at large.
When the automatic license plate readers were announced here in Santa Clara county, the police indicated that they would eventually produce some sort of policy statement about their use, and presumably the retention of the data, as well as who would have access to this data. None of the local police departments have produced these policy statements, much less drafts of their thinking.
The kinds of issues that need consideration in such a policy:
• Retention of the data (video streams)
• Police use of data.
• Access to the data.
o Public access.
o Commercial access.
• Protection of the data (by the police).
One of the problems that having all of this recorded video data sets for us is what to do with this data. Presumably any one making a complaint about the police would want the video of that incident reviewed. But what about all of the information about all of the public interactions that is not reviewed? Software could be developed that would analyze the video data for public interactions, providing a catalog of time indexes that would allow convenient review of these videosrather than having to sit through untold hours of "footage" that is not relevant to any meaningful review of an officers behavior.
Google has prototype this sort of software in the past. As more police departments have their officers wearing cameras, an opportunity would exist for a consortium of Cities to fund the development of the software that would be needed to allow this sort of review.
It's a shame that the police have not provided us with a technology plan (at least with a five year horizon) that gives us some insight into their thinking about how they plan to use this equipment, and emerging software.
on Nov 14, 2013 at 11:37 am
Never had a problem with PAPD. They run a quality organisation. I support them wholeheartedly.
on Nov 14, 2013 at 12:02 pm
PAPD is the WORST. I don't trust them even with cameras.