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    Star (Canada): Toronto police won’t use body cams — yet

    The Star reports on the issue of camera surveillance in Canada.

    While police forces around the globe are equipping officers with cameras clipped to bike helmets, lapels and vests, police in [Toronto] are still focused on increasing in-car cameras and surveillance cams in public spaces. Civil rights advocates say the devices raise protocol and privacy issues.

    “The trend is clearly going in that direction, though there are no plans here for that at this point,” said Mark Pugash, director of the Toronto police public information unit. […]

    Some Canadian forces have started testing the body cams, and many see the officer of the future as a plugged-in, patrolling monitor, whether in a car, on a bike or walking the beat. Police in Victoria tested six mini-cameras, which cost about $1,500 each, mounted on bike helmets or sunglasses, for four months in 2009. […]

    Civil libertarians in B.C. felt cameras used in public spaces are not as intrusive as body cams, which capture both people’s images and voices.

    Nathalie Des Rosiers, general counsel with the Canadian Civil Liberties Association, sees two crucial factors: “Who has access to the images and (audio) tape? Does the person being filmed have access to it?

    “The other part of the issue is whether they are destroyed or kept for long periods of time,” said Des Rosier. […]

    Police in Calgary are testing an in-car camera system for traffic officers and are considering use of personal cameras for others, as are police in Edmonton.

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