Chinese body cameras: what are the risks?

As the market for police body cameras grows globally at an exponential rate, manufacturers have to work extra hard and reduce costs to keep up with the high demand. In most cases, that means using cheaper components and having less strict quality control. Seeing as about 99% of all police body cameras in the world are manufacturers in China, all the components in those body cameras are also made in China, and that’s not a good thing.

Body cameras made with cheaper components break down more often. That happens, mostly, because these components aren’t authentic and come from the black market. Parts used in body cameras, especially for law enforcement agencies, have to meet a higher standard. Those low-end parts, obviously, don’t meet those standards, so it’s no surprise Chinese body cameras breaks down often. 

Black market components used by Chinese body camera manufacturers

The Chinese habits and culture are secluded from the outside world and that poses another real problem for this industry. Their police force isn’t as tactically trained and doesn’t have the same level of experience as in the western world. That makes them unfit to decide which features are actually relevant for a global market. Chinese body cameras are full of unnecessary features, and that just makes them clunky and heavy. That’s a design flaw that comes with other issues attached to it, such as too many buttons and mounting capability. Police officers don’t need a floppy brick attached to their uniforms that’s only going to slow them down. And, realistically, it’s barely going to record anything useful because the videos is going to be shaky.

Software used by Chinese body camera manufacturers also imposes a problem. Most of them are bootleg or cracked versions of paid softwares. Not to mention these body cameras could be carrying viruses and smuggle them into any computer they are connected to. That would give access to every piece of information in that computer’s hard drive and any server it’s connected to.

The cons of purchasing these Chinese police body cameras are far greater than the pros. The chances of these cameras breaking down often are high and they could possibly put at risk an entire department’s server and all its digital assets. Police departments shouldn’t cut corners in a tool police officers rely on on a daily basis because, as the old saying goes, “you get what you pay for”, and when you purchase Chinese products, you’re going to get Chinese quality.


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