When bodycams were first introduced into the world of policing and law enforcement agencies, expectations were high. These small wearable cameras would be used to create objective records of encounters, encourage lawful and respectful police-citizen interactions because both parties know exchanges are recorded, alleviate mistrust between the police and the public, and offer a way to substantiate whether officers have been wrongly or rightly accused of misconduct.
Looking back on more than half a decade of impact evaluations and other literature, my conclusion is that bodycams have not been the game-changer that supporters expected them to be. Nor have they turned our law enforcement agencies into armies of robocops that record everything we do while linking data to our identities using automatic facial recognition.
Read the article I wrote for the European Data Protection Law Review: take me there!