Days of Change

Perspective | December 4, 2014

In the last few years, my company has become more interested in data mining. This is ironic since gathering data from a number of antiquated and disparate systems becomes something of an art form. Getting data is often easier than extracting it or interpreting it.

The events in Ferguson led to a discussion of body cameras for police. This is a response more than a solution. There are many potential problems with these cameras and some scary opportunities for data mining.

First, body cameras only show the perspective directly in front of an officer in a limited viewing range. Let’s look at the Eric Garner case, which doesn’t even involve a body camera. The video may have led to the officer not being indicted for killing Garner. Yet, the video has been interpreted by others as a rallying cry against police brutality. That video may rile up more anger than if there wasn’t video at all.

Next, body cameras become a massive data source. Video from every officer will have to be saved, logged and stored indefinitely. It may be attached to police, but they are taking pictures of the public at large. Since police can go nearly anywhere, your privacy would be contingent on what’s going on where you are. Will officers have the ability to take the cameras off? Police have to go to the bathroom at some point.

Then there’s the possibility for abuse. Given the Obama administration’s record of leaking whatever they can with impunity, what are the chances that if you are on video and the president doesn’t like you, that your encounter with the police will mysteriously show up on YouTube? And don’t give me that “don’t do crime” bullshit. Some of my worst moments involve police, and I was the victim. If the information exists, it can get out.

Watching everyone all the time and preventing bad thought is called a police state. We never need a police state, but actually punishing people for crimes would help bring down crime. Watching crime happen is not a solution, it’s a reality show.


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  1. You make some good points. I worry about those cameras, too. Our lives are becoming a bit too much like a reality TV show. I think they should start paying us royalties.

    Comment by insanitybytes22 — December 4, 2014 @ 10:02 pm

  2. Right now I’m more concerned about law enforcement and the law itself being handcuffed by public disorder, and the black grievance industry,its press agents–the msm–and the obamas’ henchman, Holder. To survive, Americans must respect law enforcers, not law breakers.

    All the technology in the world is no substitute for he rule for the rule law.

    Comment by Mary — December 5, 2014 @ 3:53 am

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