The Real TV Everywhere Has Already Begun -- In San Jose

San Jose, Calif. police have started a test program that has some 18 officers wearing ear-mounted, Bluetooth-like cameras.


Officers say they like the program, as it records all their actions and/or altercations with citizens. After police finish their daily duties, the headsets are returned to the station for downloading. One San Jose officer said it plainly after making an arrest: "It verified what I saw."

Forget law enforcement. For many, this could be a new personal "TV Everywhere" enforcement (sorry, Comcast). I think it should be expanded for all TV/video-loving citizens.

Meet someone new for dinner? Record the entire event. Buy a new set of pots and pans and have a disagreement about it later? Show up with the actual video of the transaction.

Family disagreements? All recorded. Fights with other parents at your son's high school football game? It'll all be there for public viewing -- and humiliation.



I'm recording you -- as you are recording me. Everyone has a perspective. Now it can be shown.

Years ago the use of 24-hour video cameras in stores and public outdoor locations grew exponentially. This abundance of newly found, cheaply accessed video helped spawn many TV shows.

For law enforcement, video expanded from cameras at intersections identifying red-light violators, to cameras inside police cars.  TV reality series started up -- such as the granddaddy of all reality cop shows, Fox's "Cops" -- as well as more drunk guys running around with no shirts on.

Expanding public video will put everyone on alert -- or make them a star. See a person with a Bluetooth camera, and you may want to go running in the other direction -- or, if you're like the balloon-boy's parents, put on some makeup.

By the way, there are already rumors of a reality show featuring cops with video headgear. Public privacy? There's some of that around, I hear.

3 comments about "The Real TV Everywhere Has Already Begun -- In San Jose".
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  1. John Willkie from EtherGuide Systems, December 24, 2009 at 4:01 p.m.

    This is no more "big brother" than having cops in the first place. One does not have "a reasonable expectation of privacy" in most interactions with police since -- wait for it -- they happen IN PUBLIC!

    Once you grant them permission to enter your private place(s) like your home, or if they believe they have "probable cause" that a crime has been committed, that's another matter. Previously, cops could manufacture PC. This gives the opportunity to prove that they didn't have it.

    By the way, Wayne, while your article wasn't without it's insights, you missed several points. This is a pilot project, and it doesn't record all their interactions with citizens; the officer has to turn it on and off. Which might not always happen in advance of "actionable" things.

    Your penultimate sentence belies some confustion "Public privacy?" There is being in public and there is privacy; there is NO union between these conditions. With the possible exception being that what is inside your clothes and mind, if you don't act contrary, is still private.

  2. James Wood from HD Productions, December 26, 2009 at 3:37 p.m.

    An interesting point made here about the Police, it would make a series like Cops have a more cinema verite feel to it.

    But if it were the citizens with technology monitoring law enforcement activity or those in public office and then upload their finding online in the name of citizenship journalism/whistleblowing to expose improper practice.

    Would they find this intrusive, after all what would they have to hide if what shown, was a true a proper account of realtime activity.

  3. Jonathan Mirow from BroadbandVideo, Inc., December 28, 2009 at 4:13 p.m.

    I suppose this push-back from law enforcement was bound to happen - at a certain level, if I were a cop, I'd get tired of seeing nothing but bad press on YouTube about my actions. The thing people need to remember about law enforcement is that nobody calls the cops when they're having a good day - the cops only see people at their worst. I know I would find this extremely wearing after a while: nothing but drunks, abusive spouses, traffic offenders and other slugs would make your day a living hell.

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