On August 5, 2016, the Brennan Center submitted comments on the NYPD’s Proposed Policy for Body-Worn Cameras. The comments emphasize the need for rigorous, independent study of the efficacy of body-worn cameras in improving community-focused policing, in light of the inevitable increase in surveillance and corresponding risks to privacy posed by the widespread use of body-worn cameras. The Brennan Center’s comments also highlight specific aspects of the proposed policy that require further clarity or amendments to balance accountability and privacy. Among other things, we recommend that the Department clarify and strengthen its policies with respect to recording inside a home, notifying civilians that they are being recorded, and implementing mechanisms for training, auditing, and disciplinary measures. The Brennan Center also recommends adding language to proactively restrict the use of biometric recognition technology in conjunction with body-worn cameras.
For more information, access the Brennan Center’s Resource Page on oversight of the NYPD here, and the Brennan Center’s materials on body-worn cameras here.