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Crime Government Privacy Hardware

Cops With Google Glass: Horrible Idea, Or Good One? 192

Nerval's Lobster writes "Earlier this week, news reports leaked that the NYPD is evaluating whether to give its officers Google Glass for investigations and patrols. Google, which is sensitive to accusations that it works hand-in-hand with governments or law-enforcement agencies to monitor civilians, suggested that the NYPD must have purchased the units on its own initiative, rather than partner with the company. Some pundits and many civil libertarians hate the idea of law enforcement wearing Google Glass or other electronics that can send a constant stream of video and audio to a government (or even third-party) server. But at the same time, wearing Google Glass could also compel cops (and other law-enforcement personnel) to be on their best behavior at all times, particularly when it comes to use of force; the prospect of instantly available video detailing every aspect of an officer's shift could prove a powerful incentive to behave in a courteous and professional manner. But that's a very broad assumption; the reality—if cops really do start wearing Google Glass and other video-equipped electronics in large numbers—will likely end up determined by lots and lots of lawsuits and court-actions, many of them stemming from real-world incidents. Do you think cops should have Google Glass and other wearable electronics? And if so, what sort of regulations could be put in place to ensure that such technology isn't abused by the powers that be?"
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Cops With Google Glass: Horrible Idea, Or Good One?

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  • by Samantha Wright ( 1324923 ) on Saturday February 08, 2014 @05:24PM (#46198289) Homepage Journal
    As Spy Handler suggested, the bar would only be raised as high as the chief of police's scruples. Fortunately, centralizing corruption means there's only one head that needs to roll in order to fix a rotten department.
  • by DoninIN ( 115418 ) <> on Saturday February 08, 2014 @05:26PM (#46198295) Homepage
    I'm a bit paranoid when it comes to this sort of abuse by those in power. If the data is streamed back to "police Hq" then there is a layer of oversight there to reduce the abuse, it's not about whether or not the deputy who decided he didn't like the look of you decides to ignore or delete this information, it requires a larger conspiracy by those who are supposed to responsible and accountable, and those who didn't make some mistake or abuse their power to begin with, so it's not unlike dashcams for policemans hats. Also seeing this article with the XKCD extension that replace Google Glass with Virtual Boy made me smile.
  • by b1tbkt ( 756288 ) on Saturday February 08, 2014 @06:29PM (#46198641)
    "I'm sorry, we can't release the officer's Glass-cam video at this time, as it's part of an ongoing investigation."

    "Due to the overwhelming amount of video collected by our officers, we can only retain video streams for n days. Since the incident in question occurred (n+1) days ago, there's simply nothing that can be done to retrieve that data."

    "Our department's forensic computer investigation unit has confirmed that the officer's Glass-cam was malfunctioning on that day and all attempts to recover video from the incident have proven unsuccessful."
  • by Karmashock ( 2415832 ) on Saturday February 08, 2014 @07:32PM (#46199013)

    I don't see that going through the court.

    That said, maybe the real solution is for everyone to have cameras running on them all the time.

    We've been amused of late by motorists in Russia sharing their dash cams with youtube. Apparently that's a thing in Russia... dash cams. Maybe as we push into the 21st century there is an increasing need for pedestrians to have recording devices on their persons at all times in the event of police harassment.

... though his invention worked superbly -- his theory was a crock of sewage from beginning to end. -- Vernor Vinge, "The Peace War"