Equipping New South Wales' police force with ubiquitous body-mounted video cameras is a good idea, since there's evidence that suggests the cameras makes public interactions safer for both police and the general public. There's one big, looming problem though; what do you do with all that data?
iTnews reports that the NSW Police CIO, Chris Robson, expects that the state-wide rollout of body-mounted video cameras could produce as much as one petabyte of data per year — that's 1000 terabytes. That's a big storage challenge for the state, as Robson told the Australian Information Industry Association conference on Friday: “What are we going to with a petabyte of video a year?”
The NSW Police IT team hasn't decided yet how long to store data from the body-worn cameras for, but there's a bigger overall problem: current rules suggest that bulk footage might need to be stored for as long as 75 years, and video relating to a crime or chargeable offense must be kept for at least 10 years. That amount of data is almost unthinkable; Robson suggested a more feasible scenario might be to store all video for a minimum period of at least two months, unless it assigned to an active or closed police investigation.
There's a huge amount of discussion and planning to do before the state-wide rollout takes place; whatever the outcome, NSW Police is going to have to buy a lot of storage in the near future. [iTnews]