There is no doubt that body cameras complete with audio installed have helped the police in dealing with the general public by capturing the interactions between police and a possible suspect on digital video. This crime-fighting technology has allowed police departments to be more efficient and be able to analyze crime in a timelier manner. CBS interviewed Nicolas Thompson, the editor and chief for Wired Magazine who spoke about how new technology will help police be able to catch people faster and keep the public safe. He says body cameras have already reduced the violent interactions between the police and the public and soon they expect for police to have the technology like body recognition where they will be able to look out into a crowd, scan individuals and know if they need to stop someone.
Other police departments use software that analyzes past and present information and creates multilayer maps of crime “hot spots” based on arrests and accidents. In other places, police have already begun collecting images and analyzing them for patterns on people. Drones are also being used to patrol areas by hovering above crowds and more drones are being planned in the future to monitor streets, and people. But with all these technologies at what point is it crossing the line into our privacy and our right to the 4th amendment. On one hand, we could prevent terrorists from committing heinous crimes but we could also be giving up our privacy and even our right to reasonable search and seizure as technology grows and policies are put in place to search the public and prevent terrorism.
With the help of social media, the public has also been able to witness altercations caught on body or dashboard cameras. This has helped to answer the question or whether or not a policeman was justified in shooting to the death a potential criminal. It has also shed a light on the police abuse occurring and the racism and profiling that continues to happen.
One thing is for certain, technology is going to continue to grow, our privacy will continue to dwindle, and while the technology will be useful in keeping the public safe it also opens itself up for virus attacks that could have significant impact on everyone.