What are police cameras for?

From the Washington Post story Hackers Hit D.C. Police Closed-Circuit Camera Network

“ransomware left police cameras unable to record [from Jan 12 to 15]”

and

“the safety of the public or protectees was never jeopardized”

So to be clear: Cameras ā€” at least the ones in the article ā€” are not for the safety of the public.

Cameras can serve other purposes. For starters, cameras can: (1) Aid post-incident investigation, and (2) help provide transparency. But I think we should be careful about always assuming they are for public safety. The distinction is especially important when we are having public debates about cameras and society “sleep-walking into a surveillance society”.

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