On Wednesday, Axon (formerly “Taser”) announced its offer to outfit every cop in the US with a free body camera, with rollout beginning as soon as the end of the month. About 20% of police departments use body cameras. The overwhelmingly majority of all police departments have no policies about how best to use the cameras, what to do with footage, or even when to record.
Privacy experts are concerned that embracing this technology without regulation only undermines its original goals of transparency and accountability. What’s more, unregulated introduction of technology into the police force would result in a variety of unprecedented legal and safety issues.