Bluetooth and WiFi-Enabled Body Cameras: What are the Risks

Wanting to try out newly released technology is ingrained in human nature. But this practice can come with some high risks, especially when these new gadgets are tools used by police officers. In the past years, many Bluetooth and WiFi-enabled body cameras have been released. The problem with that is now many police departments think that’s an absolutely necessary feature. While having cameras that connect wirelessly to computers and other devices makes officers’ lives easier, it also opens new doors for security flaws, as hackers can easily infiltrate wireless-enable police body cameras to tamper with evidence.

bluetooth and wifi-enabled body camera offered by axon
WiFi-enabled body camera offered by Axon

According to experiments done with different police cameras, hackers would be able to easily access devices through wireless connections using nothing but a laptop and a long-range antenna that can be bought online. Once access has been granted, they’d be able to track the device, manipulate evidence, download, upload, edit, and delete files. In some cases, they are even able to live stream what the camera is recording. If that’s not scary enough, they can also use those cameras to smuggle malware into the department’s computers. That would give hackers access to every file in the server. That’s a high risk departments are taking for the simple convenience of not having to docking body cameras. 

Evidence gathered with these devices are used to incriminate and free people on a daily basis. The fact that hackers can manipulate those pieces of evidence with such ease makes them faulty and unreliable. Body camera manufacturers seem to be more worried about making a buck than helping civilians and police officers. That’s why law enforcement agencies should have a deeper understanding of what the benefits of those features are versus the risks they present and weight them out. After all, that’s an industry where every decision should be carefully analyzed.

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