Bodycams in Italy: new ruling paves the way for nationwide bodycam programs

After much consultation the announcement ruled in favour of the implementation of bodycams by Italian law enforcement agencies. Another great step toward the general implementation of bodycam programs in European countries was taken.

Bodycams ZEPCAM round below

Last week was crucial for bodycams in Italy as the main privacy guarantor ruled on the mainstream usage of bodycams. After much consultation the announcement ruled in favour of the implementation of bodycams by Italian law enforcement agencies. Immediately following the announcement, Italian penitentiary officials called for bodycam systems to be implemented. 

Bodycams in Italy: Privacy Guarantor gives the go-ahead

 “Building a truth is never simple but today we can count on technology, an insuperable tool for anyone.”- Gianni Tonelli, author of the new Italian book Il Digiuno Della Legge

As of last week the Italian police departments and the national Carabinieri can indeed count on technology as a new tool to combat rising aggression and provide evidence. The main privacy guarantor in Italy ruled in favour of bodycam programs and their implementation nationwide. There has been a consistent call for new tools that can be provided for Italian police to better accomplish their duties, and now it seems the way is clear for full bodycam implementation. With this ruling naturally came a strict set of guidelines related to the use and storage of data recorded through a police bodycam. In order to guarantee both privacy and data security, Italian bodycams must adhere to the following rules:

  • The bodycam may only be activated in the presence of concrete and real situations of danger or criminal offenses, and may not continuously record without reason.
  • The bodycam can store data internally but this may not be accessible at the time of use, and afterwards may only be accessible by the head of a police department who is in possession of the encryption key.
  • The unused bodycam data must be erased after a maximum of 6 months.
  • The use of facial recognition software is strictly forbidden
  • Data security and privacy compliance is very important: Italian citizen rights must be respected.

These demands are essentially what every European law enforcement agency requires of their own bodycam solutions and as such can be implemented immediately and easily by European partners during the acquisition and implementation process. Furthermore, the declaration that facial recognition remains forbidden is intrinsically linked with an earlier proposal from the European Commission to ban automatic facial recognition software and artificial intelligence aimed at realizing this capability. Based on recommendations by the EDPB (European Data Protection Board) and EDPS (European Data Protection Supervisor) the commission has stated that any such artificial intelligence would impose on European citizens’ rights and must therefore be restricted.

Bodycams in Italy: the penitentiary system

Immediately following the declaration of the privacy guarantor officials in the Italian penitentiary system also declare their optimism for bodycams and share the hope for bodycam programs to be implemented in Italian prisons. Deputy of the League Jacopo Morrone has stated that bodycams are an indispensable and modern instrument for prevention and protection and calls for bodycam systems to be immediately implemented in Italian prisons. In the difficult world of security and law enforcement professionals need any tool that can provide them with extra benefits such as added security and evidence collection.  Author, Gianni Tonelli of the new book Il Digiuno Della Legge knows more than most about this need and calls for any and all tools that “enhance the safety from threats of reporting, retaliation and media pillories” to be implemented as soon as possible. He sees bodycams, which have been implemented across Europe, as crucial tools to protect frontline professionals as well as citizens themselves through the fair, evidence based documentation that bodycam systems provide.

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