Your Personal Bodycam

Shonin is a personal bodycam up on Kickstarter.

There are a lot of complicated issues surrounding bodycams -- for example, it's obvious that police bodycams reduce violence -- but the one thing everyone is certain about is that they will proliferate. I'm not sure society is fully ready for the ramifications of this level of recording.

Posted on August 23, 2017 at 6:41 AM • 31 Comments

Comments

NickAugust 23, 2017 7:21 AM

What's interesting with the police is how they change when you are recording them.

For a couple of years I was trying to get rid of criminals operating next to parliament in the UK. Lots of them.

Police weren't interested. One consequence since is that there was a terrorist attack and lots killed, because of that lack police attention.

So when I film them, they behave rationally. When you make a complaint and you don't have the camera running, or not running overtly, its a different matter.

So the state has been using cameras. What happens when the cameras are tuned? Far more difficult.

If its a rotten apple in the barrel, its easy. For example, if its shown a policeman lied in court, then all defense lawyers should pick up on this, and next time that policeman is giving evidence, its brought up. Effectively he becomes completely useless to the police.

However, if its policy, its far more difficult.

Having your own camera in my opinion means you are protected from threats of arrest by the police in lots of cases.

WayneAugust 23, 2017 7:42 AM

Better know your local and state laws on recording other people. Where I liv video is one thing but audio requires the consent of both parties. This is how police can arrest you if you are recording them with your cell phone. But same goes with the police here, they have to tell you are being recorded and you can decline on the audio.

h2g2bobAugust 23, 2017 7:43 AM

Many professional drivers (eg:taxis) record all their journeys so they can prove they're not at fault for insurance. It seems to work OK for them. One downside is: once you install cameras, saying "I wasn't recording that" looks massively suspicious.

Frank WilhoitAugust 23, 2017 7:47 AM

"...I'm not sure society is fully ready for the ramifications..."

Bruce, society is not ready for the ramifications of the steam engine, let alone any subsequent technological development.

Jeff MartinAugust 23, 2017 8:12 AM

Some of David Brin's works, both fiction and non-fiction, include this notion. He imagined a future where retired people wore cameras around everywhere so street crime virtually disappeared.

bobAugust 23, 2017 8:28 AM

Wifi only? What's the point?

But $200 for the useful version? If I see someone wearing one of them I'm 'avin it!

JonAugust 23, 2017 8:58 AM

@bob: Many people already have a smartphone that can be set to operate as a 4G Wifi hotspot. So the expected use of the WiFi camera is you connect it to the Wifi hotspot provided by your phone. That will work almost as well as having 4G in the camera. But it means you don't have to pay a mobile phone company every month for an extra contract, which is significant, and it saves the price of a 4G chip (plus associated patent licensing fees) in the camera.

ThothAugust 23, 2017 11:06 AM

The most important feature it offers is encrypted storage and transmission to some secure cloud. Unsurprisingly, it never provide any technical details on it's privacy and security capabilities and designs and never specify the 'secure cloud service' for uploading of the 'secured media'.

I guess that's another possible fail along the way.

It's either nice aspirations but not considering more and committing more details and planning properly or maybe preying on the current political atmosphere and sentiments ?

vas pupAugust 23, 2017 2:17 PM

Bodycams should be utilized by prison guards (federal and state correction/detention facilities of all types, and in private correctional facilities), mental health institutions (state owned and private) by staff as well, i.e. in any setting where rights of the person are substantially restricted and power unbalance (potential for abuse as result)is high for the same reason as police bodycams.
Police bodycams should be utilized by ALL law enforcement agents (federal, state, local) except on undercover assignment or contacting CI.

RhysAugust 23, 2017 2:58 PM

Is the issue of sousveillance the involuntary persistence it visits on others? Or is it the metaveillance?

Headlines and tweets starting yesterday and today on 300,000+ cybersecurity skilled jobs going unfulfilled. If that void can't be filled, what is the likely deficit for these issues, above, in the general population?

Even on this forum, I see little regarding the prospective use of hyper spectral/multi-spectral sensors that can collect other data within the field of view. Or the stereoscopy from overlapping fields of view?

I wonder if this is like 'bystander apathy'. Maybe everyone does know but is hoping they will be overlooked and only some other poor soul will fall victim first. Before them.

Mall MosquitoAugust 23, 2017 3:33 PM

... it's obvious that police bodycams reduce violence ...

It's just another tool for cops to collect and record evidence for prosecutors in court. Cops need a lot of photos and evidence just to issue something a simple as a parking ticket.

When they're off official duty, and they put on white hoodies and join a lynch mob to burn crosses in somebody's lawn, those cameras just aren't going to help that much.

Sure, there is some psychological effect of self-restraint and maybe some self-censorship if you are wearing a camera and you know it is on and rolling, but neither body cams nor gun control do anything to reduce premeditated and conspired violence, which is the real problem facing America today.

Gun control always hits minorities the hardest. That's the way it's intended. Same with always-on bodycams. I don't like it when these cherry-picked and cut videos show up in court.

Cops taking pictures of cops committing violence? Nonsense. There isn't even a chain of custody for that.

tyrAugust 23, 2017 3:49 PM


I'd like to see every government official
and lobbyist fitted with these 24/7.
That might make citizen expectations
more reasonable.

WillAugust 24, 2017 1:29 AM

Hard to predict. CC-TV cameras are ubiquitous and most people accept them without a thought, but people's reactions to Google Glass's in-your-face [potential] recording contrasts rather sharply. This is maybe somewhere in the middle.

droneAugust 24, 2017 2:58 AM

"I'm not sure society is fully ready for the ramifications of this level of recording."

Remember Google Glass? Remember how if you wore Glass in public everyone would call you a "Glasshole"? Remember Google Glass failing as a consumer product?

Question answered.

robjAugust 24, 2017 7:18 AM

I swim regularly for exercise. I used to use the changing rooms but too many people feel entitled to use their mobile phones anywhere they want. I don't like having a phone camera pointed at me while I am getting changed.

BTW ShowBox Apk Latest Version is spam.

vas pupAugust 24, 2017 8:39 AM

@robj • August 24, 2017 7:18 AM

You have good point! E.g. in Europe (as best as I know) usage of mobile phones could be jammed by the private owner of even restaurant, not only spa/changing room you name, but owner should post clear notice on the front door like 'Your mobile phone is not going to work within this [specify the name of private facility]'. Then, you could make your personal informed choice either agree to use facility without usage of your mobile device inside or just turn around and go away. That is good model.
In USA it is illegal to jam cell phones within privately owned (e.g. restaurant) facility. The idea is that government make choice for you. basically, you (as owner) could post sticker on the door (like cell phone crossed) with no guarantee of no usage of cell phone inside the facility by patron disturbing others and violating their privacy.
Technical measure (jamming) is working regardless of law/rules abiding behavior of any patron (who may have attitude (s)he is special for some reasons and rules not applied to them. You do know such jerks. Do you?

MRROAugust 24, 2017 11:10 AM

@vas pup

Most countries would have major issues with using jammers, especially as many emergency services use cell phone relays.
I know in the UK they're very illegal and OFCOM would want to have words with any [Non State] user of said devices.

albertAugust 24, 2017 11:44 AM

Remember the Google Glass! Great technology, abused immediately. (alberts First Law)

Douchebags please note: It's -not illegal- to photograph people in public places.

Many restaurants and even more bars have outside security cameras, and most stores have cameras inside. I'm not aware of any restaurants with inside cameras, but it's surely possible, and AFAIK, not illegal.

Being surveilled by an individual in a bar or restaurant is a different issue. -I- would not be comfortable in such a situation; others may not care. Surveillance by citizens has been useful, like aboard aircraft, for example, or a shoot-up in an unmonitored area.

Generally, there's no need for cell phones in well-monitored areas. I like the idea of CP jamming in restaurants, but, aside from 'legal' considerations, jamming doesn't prevent douchebags from photographing you, which is the whole point AFAIC.

In certain rare situations, permission of the subject may be required.
See:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Model_release)

. .. . .. --- ....

Clive RobinsonAugust 24, 2017 1:55 PM

@ Albert,

Douchebags please note: It's -not illegal- to photograph people in public places.

Depends on the jurisdiction and the apparent reason.

In the UK for instance the Government holds tightly to it's monopoly on surveillance. Whilst RIPA and the "Snoopers Charter" give almost unimaginable rights of intrusion into the citizens lives, there is little or no reciprocity.

You can look the documentation up but whilst as an individual you have the right to use surveillance on your property you have to give clear notification of so doing. Worse is you are not alowed much in the way of "overspill" into public or semi public areas. Thus whilst you can have a camera on your drive where you park your car, you are "technically" not alowed to have a camera observing your car when parked in Puvlic place.

The UK laws are mostly "untested" which is not true of France where they have quite strong privacy legislation, and it has shown it's teeth in times past. Whilst their is some lenienc towards "National Security" and "Criminal activity" it is by no means clear what is and is not alowed.

Other jurisdictions have different legislatiin and what is and is not alowed varies wildly. In the US for instance out side of "wire tap legislation" dealing with evesdropping on conversations there is little or no right to any kind of privacy even when you take very obvious steps to protect it. It usually boils down to "If they can collect it, it's theirs to do with as they please"...

vas pupAugust 24, 2017 2:09 PM

@Clive:
"In the US for instance out side of "wire tap legislation" dealing with evesdropping on conversations there is little or no right to any kind of privacy even when you take very obvious steps to protect it."
BINGO!!

MrVAugust 27, 2017 4:33 AM

Basically we are now at the mercy of the most paranoid in society. A large % of such people seem to reside in the USA.
Seems to be tied in with a number of factors such as:
* the politicisation of everything.
* endless war.
* mindless worship of 'technology'.
* overmedication of a population.
* media hype and blatant propaganda.
* gun control (or lack of).

How much 'freedom' is there really in world such as this?
What happened to the time when people did the right thing because it was the right thing to do, rather than because people foricbly filming them compels them to act with humanity?

Clive RobinsonAugust 27, 2017 5:54 AM

@ MrV,

A large % of such people seem to reside in the USA.

It's the result of the "new economy", put simply the "Great American Dream" was based on plundering natural resources. Well as those are running out it's turned to plundering the citizens.

Thus "creating wealth" has gone from the "real wealth" of adding value to raw resources to the "fiat wealth" of taxing by rent seeking. Hence where ever you look there are people holdibg out a hand for a piece of you. And if you don't give them what they want, well they just set the authoritarian following "guard labour" onto you. Either way they profit at your expense.

Thus you realy need to reconsider,

Basically we are now at the mercy of the most paranoid in society

It's not individuals within society being paranoid, it's certain elite individuals forcing society to be paranoid. Thus all normal citizens need to be paranoid as a survival mechanism.

albertAugust 27, 2017 1:01 PM

@Clive, etc.

Corporations and governments are merely tools of the bankers. The outright theft of our money (taxes or income) can last only as long as the population can work to provide it. Countries that don't make things, or export food/raw materials have limited choices. Countries with vibrant middle class populations are being replaced by super-rich/super-poor banana republics. The end product: fiefdoms of financial elites.


It's necessary to consider 'fear mongering' in a broader geopolitical context. It's a tool of the Elite to keep the Unwashed Masses in line. Remember HyperNormalization?*

Since history repeats itself every day, I suggest, for those of you who have the time, to read "Rule By Secrecy", by Jim Marrs (2000). It's a fascinating study of the connections between 'secret' societies and their members, the most powerful of which are the international bankers. World-wide foreign policy is now, and has been for the last 200 years, written by international banking interests. -Every- war/conflict** is either started or promoted by those interests, especially by Western so-called 'democracies'. Bubble-economies and the destruction of the middle class and indeed the outright theft of government funds is merely a result of bankers greed. This is the biggest con-job ever pulled on folks of modest means.

Lest anyone believe this situation can change, I need only point out that Abe Lincoln and John Kennedy recognized the problem, and tried to change the system.

Wars use to be about acquisition of territory for resources. Now, they're about the accumulation of fiat wealth, converted into hard assets by the Elite. This may be the reason why they don't seem to care too much about computer security. Fiat currency has value only in the hard assets it can buy. Add to that zero-interest 'loans', deducible losses, and bankruptcy laws and you have a winning combination.

BTW, I see Bitcoin is at USD4345,(GBP3396). Crazy!

----------
*According to Adam Curtis, we live in the Age of HyperNormalization. Simply stated, it is the paramount goal of The System to sustain itself by -any- means, legal or illegal.

**Besides WWI and WWII, the Revolutionary War, the Civil War, Korean War, Vietnam War, the Russian Revolution, and others in Europe I don't recall offhand.

. .. . .. --- ....

vas pupAugust 31, 2017 11:02 AM

@MRRO • August 24, 2017 11:10 AM.
I guess there is also other passive technical solution rather than jamming.
You know that in some buildings reception of cell phone is very weak due to structure/materials of its walls.
You could be proactive on that and deliberately utilize Faraday cage paradigm in your private facility walls/windows(special blinds)/etc. (restaurant, spa, etc.)in the way as blocking any signal from electronic device -leakage - (PC, servers, etc.)go out of the facility.
For security/emergency service/patrons needs you may always have booth with old-fashioned land line phone.
To save your back of sharks(lawyers) you could put on the entrance door sticker (disclaimer) informing customers of poor reception within your facility of cell phone communication.
Kind of opposite to provide free WI-FI, but somebody may prefer quiet environment with protected privacy.

PavelAugust 31, 2017 3:34 PM

My personal civilian (journalistic/activist) body cam usage casae with current COTS equipment, entire set up

More than one discrete body cams, to be connected via clip or velcro to several points of my body (some combination of belt, shirt, cap, helmet.) This is for use in political demonstrations and events. Everything is already saturated with cell-phone recording and usually by media as well. Not only do I have had the misfortune of being captured unflatteringly on cameras wielded by both media and civilians and like to keep an unfiltered record as a countermeasure, the discretion comes in of course should violence ever eventuate.

I have happily not had to really participate in except having been the subject of a group assault of opposing demonstrators, which lead to me to adapt this very usage: this whole incident was recorded by at least half a dozen news outlets and countless cell phones although nothing wound up circulating in a big way, the circumstances leading to it centered upon me having been distracted for a few minutes manipulating technology and in conversation and then suddenly being flanked and separated by the opposing group; in such a case I don't want to have my cameras [as cell phones or full cameras] either in my hands or quite as plainly visible.) In addition to at least two microSD cameras taking a full record (two mainly for redundancy, and the ability to quietly pocket or if necessary discard one, they are cheap anyway.) I retain these in addition two usually at least two or three cell phones with which to actively stream, take photos, or tweet (the body cams do none of these but just record to microSD for downloading and editing later for the production of propaganda and corroboration of my accounts of events.

In a tense political moment in which (particularly one side of the) current hostiles is engaged in campaigns of terror-doxing, it is a more subtle way of recording what's going on and who's around.

For added fun I do have a sort of "personal area network" headquartered in my backpack, owned a raspberry Pi and using a 4G "hot spot" to talk home plus some bespoke software, I can, when I have 60-90 seconds or so of downtime, start uploading pictures and video from the body cams raw if there is something particularly interesting (but unfortunately so often when there is something that interesting it would be questionable for my physical safety or ability to continue recording and transmitting to have to open and manipulate devices.)

Leave a comment

Allowed HTML: <a href="URL"> • <em> <cite> <i> • <strong> <b> • <sub> <sup> • <ul> <ol> <li> • <blockquote> <pre>

Photo of Bruce Schneier by Per Ervland.

Schneier on Security is a personal website. Opinions expressed are not necessarily those of IBM Resilient.