Omniveillance: Police Edition

August 22nd, 2013

What happens when police officers are equipped with cameras, recording everything?

“When you put a camera on a police officer, they tend to behave a little better, follow the rules a little better,” Chief Farrar said. “And if a citizen knows the officer is wearing a camera, chances are the citizen will behave a little better.”

Despite concerns about privacy and cost, more citizens across the country will probably soon find themselves on camera when talking to the police.

I’m mixed on this issue. On the one hand, I think it is a wonderful idea for police officers to act lawfully, and they tend to do so when they know they’re on camera. This will be a boon to the rights of those arrested. On the other hand, these cops are setting the stage for a pervasive surveillance network. Comfort with these officer-mounted cameras will lead to comfort with cameras posted everywhere.

Anyway, I’m conflicted.