U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government, Department of Justice.


Body-Worn Camera Toolkit

Interactions between law enforcement and the public-whether for community engagement, crime prevention, law enforcement, or investigation-are necessary to support the public safety mission. These official duty interactions produce information, intelligence, and evidence that also support the public safety mission. While body-worn cameras (BWC) provide an opportunity to preserve these interactions with greater detail and accuracy than previous technology, such preservation raises new privacy questions and concerns. In addition, police use of force, which is sometimes necessary in order to maintain peace and prevent disorder, strains police-community member relations. The promise that BWC video will provide a recorded accounting of events is appealing to the criminal justice system as well as privacy advocates. However, it is important to understand all of the privacy and liability considerations involved (e.g., when and how to record, view, discard, redact, and share video). The considerations are complex and broad, so jurisdictions should conduct research, talk with those who have implemented programs under similar legal environments, and collaboratively problem solve these difficult issues with community members and advocacy groups.

BWC Podcast Series

For more about these topics, please check out the BWC Podcast Series.

Go to the Podcasts

A flyer with the words CDT letter on body cameras to the task force on 21st century policing

CDT's 5 Suggestions

Center for Democracy & Technology letter of recommendation to the 21st Century Policing Task Force with recommendations about capture, retention, sharing, and use of BWC

Read the Letter

10 limitations of body cams you need to know for your protection

10 Limitations of Body Cameras

The Force Science Institute describes limitations to police-worn body cameras for consideration when developing policy, protocols, and training

Read the Paper

Flyer for a report on body worn cameras

Privacy Concerns

Manning & Kass, Ellrod, Ramirez, Trester LLP created a Report on Body Worn Cameras focusing on privacy concerns

Read the Report

Expert Panel

NIJ BWC Primer

NLECTC published a primer that answers basic questions about body-worn cameras and implementation issues

Read the Primer


Privacy FAQs