Axon explores blockchain for police body-cam footage integrity

U.S.-based police tech supplier Axon recently launched Body 3, an on the field body-camera for law enforcement. The product aims to address the rising concerns around video tampering.

The company acknowledged the threat of ‘deepfake’ or manipulated videos, a Reuters report said. To counter this, Axon has been exploring various provenance technologies, including blockchain.

Body-cam footage has been instrumental in identifying police brutality. However, there have been instances when the authenticity of such a video was questioned in a courtroom.

Reuters said one of Axon Body 3 security protocols is the limited access to the footage for playback, download or edit. Axon has also introduced LTE connectivity with its new body-cam, which can allow real-time storage of the footage.

Another feature is a secure digital signature for the videos, to track their provenance. The purpose is to ensure the integrity of the footage. However, the company did not provide any further details on this.

Data stored on a blockchain might include the timestamp, camera details and probably some identifier of the person who uses the camera. Theoretically, to secure it with blockchain, a hash or digital fingerprint must be generated for the specific video and stored on the blockchain. If any changes are made to the recording, the hash will no longer match.

The inference is based on other blockchain projects, such as digital rights management. Sony is securing education content, primarily written works by logging the data, time and creator over a blockchain. Sony claims to track even pieces of the composition, as opposed to just the content as a whole.

Last month, Alibaba and HTC participated in a $3 million funding round of digital property rights firm Bitmark. In another example of provenance for multimedia material, the company is developing a blockchain solution to curtail data piracy and assist artists and other content creators.

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