News, Press Releases, and Hot Topics

Addressing Cybersecurity Concerns for Police Cameras

December 11, 2014    |  

Markus Rauschecker, JD ’06, a faculty member at the University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law and a policy analyst at the Center for Health and Homeland Security (CHHS), was invited to speak before the Baltimore City Mayor’s Working Group on the Use and Implementation of Body Worn Cameras on Dec. 9.  He provided an overview of potential cybersecurity issues that may arise from the collection, download, and storage of body camera footage, used to record interactions between the police and the public. Rauschecker answered questions from the group members.

Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake formed the working group in October to assess and explore the potential implementation of body cameras for officers in the Baltimore Police Department. The group is comprised of law enforcement officials, legal representatives, information technology specialists, community members, and clergy. Body cameras are being considered by police nationwide to improve transparency and accountability, one portion of efforts to address strained police and community relations.

During his presentation, Rauschecker, who co-teaches CHHS’s Law and Policy of Cybersecurity course, highlighted data storage as the greatest cybersecurity concern. Body cameras have the potential to generate large amounts of video footage that must be stored in a secure location with regulated access. Options for storage can vary from in-house management to external third-party vendors – both of which have pros and cons. Policies also will have to address the integrity of video contents, ensuring proper chain-of-custody, audit trails of access or editing by personnel, and retention. He concluded by reminding the group that no one solution will be 100 percent secure, but addressing the potential risks before implementing a body camera system will minimize threats against the data.