Who is really being watched by police body cameras?

Bennett Purser and Kimberly Adams Nov 12, 2019
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Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images

Who is really being watched by police body cameras?

Bennett Purser and Kimberly Adams Nov 12, 2019
Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images
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COPY

Around 2014, after multiple shootings of unarmed African Americans by police officers, body cameras were seen as the tool to hold police accountable. Leaders of the Black Lives Matter movement pushed for them to be implemented, along with prominent Democrats like then-President Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, then a presidential candidate. Body cameras, it seemed, would be the future of policing.

But in the five years since many police departments started using them, facial recognition technology has become a feature of the cameras, which has some privacy activist wondering who is really being surveilled by the devices.

Sidney Fussell, who covers tech for The Atlantic, wrote about the current state of body cameras. He spoke with “Marketplace” host Kimberly Adams about how body cameras are changing with the inclusion of facial recognition and artificial intelligence.

Click on the audio player above to hear the interview.

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