Storing Mobile Video Evidence: Critical Requirements

May 13th, 2016 | Posted by Kevin Corley in Business | Document and Information Capture

The Fifth Blog Post in Our 5-Part Nexsan Assureon for Law Enforcement Series

The public outcry over the shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, and the delayed release of video evidence pertaining to the shooting of Laquan McDonald in Chicago have triggered growing scrutiny and criticism of police departments across the county. Now more than ever before, law enforcement personnel must demonstrate transparency and accountability through video footage of their interactions with suspects and community members.

Body Cameras & Federal Funding

Besides using dashboard-mounted video cameras, police departments are increasingly adopting body-worn camera technology, which are also referred to as mobile evidence cameras. Indeed, the US government has allocated approximately $75 million in grants to encourage police use of body cameras, which have the advantage of going wherever officers go when they leave their squad cars.

The resulting expansion of video surveillance places great demands on police departments as to how to handle, store and retain all of this digital data. For example, if a department has 200 officers, with each generating one hour of video per shift, the amount of video storage capacity required per year would be 33 terabytes. As police officers use body-cams more routinely, the quantity of data to archive could increase by orders of magnitude to multiple petabytes.

28 CFR & 29 CFR

Of course, police departments must follow applicable state and federal rules and regulations for archiving video evidence. Departments need to adhere to evidentiary requirements set forth in Titles 28 and 29 of The Code of Federal Regulations (known as 28 CFR and 29 CFR). In a nutshell, these complex requirements cover data security and integrity, as well as privacy considerations.

For example, to prevent unauthorized access to video archives, effective and technologically advanced computer hardware and software designs must be used. Information must be stored in such a way that it can’t be accessed, modified, destroyed or purged without authorization. In addition, procedures need to be instituted to protect criminal intelligence information from theft, sabotage, fire, flooding and other natural or man-made disasters.

Data Retention Requirements

28 CFR and 29 CFR also include the following data retention requirements:

  • Procedures must be adopted to ensure that all retained information is relevant and important
  • These procedures must call for periodic review of the information and destruction of any information that is misleading, obsolete or otherwise unreliable
  • Information must be validated for continuing compliance with system submission criteria before the end of its retention period, which cannot be longer than five years

Intelligence-gathering projects that receive federal grant funding cannot undertake major modifications to system design without prior grantor agency approval. What’s more: awards for funding intelligence systems receive special monitoring and auditing in accordance with approved plans to ensure compliance. Failure to comply with 28 CFR and 29 CFR could create your own legal problems.

The Image One Solution

These examples are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the regulations applying to surveillance video. At Image One, we understand that the evidentiary weight of video footage can easily be compromised by improper handling and storage practices. Archiving systems for body-cam and dash-cam videos must ensure that police departments can meet Department of Justice requirements.

Available at Image One, Imation’s Nexsan Assureon is the ideal archival storage solution for law enforcement agencies that are expanding their use of video surveillance and will help ensure compliance with 28 CFR and 29 CFR.

Named the “Archiving & Compliance Product of the Year” by Storage Magazine, Assureon provides a comprehensive suite of security features to ensure file integrity, compliance and privacy, as well as seamless scalability to accommodate rapid—and potentially exponential—growth in video footage.

Contact us to learn more about Nexsan Assureon dashboard and body camera archival storage

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