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Body worn camera guides

Safeguarding Body Worn Video (BWV) data requires far broader consideration than just encryption and thought should be given as to where the weakest security points are within the whole process. This starts with the BWV device itself and continues with the transfer of data and its storage as well as sharing with the Criminal Justice System (CJS).

So says an official document on what BWV devices are able to capture and how safeguards can help users to avoid losing such data.

Visit the Home Office website for the 32-page guide by the Centre for Applied Science and Technology (CAST).

In a foreword, Avon and Somerset Chief Constable Andy Marsh, National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC) Lead for Body Worn Video, points out that front-line policing is ‘inherently confrontational and frequently highly unpredictable, therefore it is an unavoidable fact that there will be losses of cameras, resulting in the potential loss of personal and sensitive data. Fines imposed by the Information Commissioner ’s Office (ICO) can be significant if data controllers have failed to mitigate against these risks. It is therefore imperative that police forces understand the risks of not providing adequate measures to mitigate against these potential risks.’

The guide recommends that users should be ‘proactive in informing people when they are being video recorded and that this includes audio’; processes should be in place to manage ‘subject access requests’ from those who are recorded by devices; and Standard Operating Procedures should be in place to guide users on when to activate and deactivate a recording. As the document points out, in an age of social media, any unauthorised third party obtaining a recording has the mechanism to instantly share data with a global audience. “While any consequences will be largely unpredictable they are unlikely to be positive. Furthermore once a recording has hit the social networks removing it is close to impossible.”

For more, revised, technical guidance for police forces when procuring and deploying Body Worn Video (BWV) devices, visit https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/technical-guidance-for-body-worn-video-bwv-devices-cast-2016.


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