We reported last week about how Microsoft Azure Government Cloud became the first and only cloud offering to meet the CJIS compliance standards and agreements. Since then we’ve gathered more information about how Microsoft’s Azure Government cloud and bodycam partner VIEVU are teaming up to be a driving force in police accountability in the future.
VIEVU CEO and founder Steve Ward helped shed some light on how VIEVU cameras, in conjunction with Azure Government, will play an integral part of public safety professionals, as well as those in private security.
A partnership with Microsoft Azure Government cloud will have VIEVU representing the front end of user interaction. VIEVU will take some of the heavy lifting of managing and storing massive amounts of video data and turning it all into a one-click option and experience backed by a CJIS compliant cloud service via Azure Government.
Back in 2007, Steve set out to address the obvious shortcomings of police surveillance at the time. VIEVU specifically targeted dash cams as they left both police officers as well as citizens at risk with their limited view and functionality. As of today, the secure and high-resolution cameras are being used by over 4,000 law enforcement agencies in over 16 countries across North America. Steve believes that with over 4,000 participants, the cultural conversation of ‘if’ law enforcement should be wearing cameras, shifts rather to ‘when’ will law enforcement be wearing these types of devices?
What makes products like VIEVU different from the traditional dash cam found in patrol cars is their ability to capture and log the action that takes place away from the car. Steve notes that with recent high-profile events involving various law enforcement personnel making their way to countless new sources, the need for better accountability is almost an inevitability. Beyond fostering better police work, the question of liability seems to be the driving force in more and more agencies adopting these new forms of surveillance.
Steve also explains how VIEVU went about tackling the challenge of body cameras for law enforcement:
“To be useful and useable, the camera must be small and simple enough not to burden to the officer while on the job. Today’s camera is about the same small size as the original ones in 2007, but advances in technology have enabled us to put more features and functionality into it. Significant improvements are being made on the back end of the video system as well, specifically in the storage and management of the video that is produced by the cameras. Because of policy and legal requirements for retaining video, storage demands can easily scale into the terabyte range for a department, and maintaining and managing this can require some heavy lifting. Because of security concerns for this sensitive data, many departments have opted to handle this in-house on their own servers. This is costly and labor intensive, but the acceptance of cloud computing as a best practice in business, and the emergence of services such as Microsoft Azure that provide the security required by government, now offers the option for moving video out of the department.”
How does Azure Government accurately play into all of this?
Azure Government will be able to offer local, state, and government agencies a flexible, low-cost option for storing their captured data. The cloud-connected service will also provide redundant backups (in case of emergencies) while also maintaining a CJIS complaint standard.
It’s not hard to see a connection with VIEVU and Microsoft extending past law enforcement. Azure Government is just another move Microsoft is making to solidify their cloud strategy. It’s no longer just a theory that similar partnerships with Microsoft's Azure cloud could quickly become a go-to option for other businesses looking into hosting cloud collected information in the wearable space.