Oct. 9, 2013 at 3:31 PM ET
The American Civil Liberties Union has weighed in on uniform-mounted police cameras in a lengthy blog post on its website. The take-away: this has the potential to be good for everyone — if we can make sure the system isn't abused.
"The challenge of on-officer cameras is the tension between their potential to invade privacy and their strong benefit in promoting police accountability," writes the organization.
That echoes the position of the New York Civil Liberty Union's director, Donna Lieberman, whom NBC News interviewed for a report on cop-cams in August. She said then that there's a lot of potential for good, but we need to tread lightly in how we implement such a wide-reaching system.
To that end, the ACLU lists several major points that would need to be addressed if cop-cams are to be deployed en masse:
The cameras, systems, and laws involved are changing rapidly, so this sector will certainly be in flux for the next few years. But controls like those proposed by the ACLU (and, in fact, by police, who are also concerned with the repercussions of constant surveillance) could go a long way towards making such devices effective without compromising privacy.
Read the full blog post at the ACLU website for more details and some useful links.
Devin Coldewey is a contributing writer for NBC News Digital. His personal website is coldewey.cc.