Privacy issues raised about cops’ cameras

As Toronto Police prepare to begin training on using lapel cameras, the federal and provincial privacy commissioners have warned the technology poses significant privacy risks.

Among concerns raised about the cameras, due to begin operations in a pilot project in May, are whether citizens will be told when they are being recorded and where information will be stored.

The privacy commissioners’ also raised concerns on whether recordings will be made in private homes.

Initially, about 100 Toronto Police officers will take to the streets with the cameras. The force will join police in Vancouver, Edmonton, Thunder Bay, Hamilton, London, Ont. and the RCMP, which uses cameras on an ad-hoc basis. Calgary Police Service has already equipped several hundred officers with cameras.

The Toronto pilot project was set to launch late last year but the rollout was delayed in part because of the plethora of privacy concerns, according to Meaghan Gray, spokeswoman for Toronto Police.