Remember when the first mobile phones came with integrated cameras? A revolutionary concept to many people, which begged many to ask the question why a camera was necessary in a mobile in the first place? Didn’t we have proper cameras for that. And indeed, the first phone cameras didn’t really prove to be very effective. The first phone with an integrated camera was released in South Korea: The Samsung SCH-V200 flipped open to reveal a 1.5-inch TFT-LCD, and the built-in digital camera was capable of taking 20 photos at 350,000-pixel resolution, which is 0.35-megapixels, but you had to hook it up to a computer to get your photos.
Over time, developers have stepped up to the demand of the marketplace, rendering conventional cameras obsolete for many people. Additionally to the comfort of tourists, phone cameras have also provided a more significant advantage for the protection of civil rights.
Stepping up to abusive law enforcement
Throughout history, it has been the challenge of citizens to have their civil rights respected when dealing with law enforcement. For a long time, numerous witnesses were needed to testify against a policeman, and rarely were there instances of private citizens winning cases of police abuse. Integrated cameras in mobile phones are game changers in that instance. With the speed of tapping on a screen, scenes can be recorded instantly, and very often this footage has prevented rights from being abused, in cases of corruption, excessive violence or other instances of police misconduct.
Here are some examples
This policeman quickly changes his attitude after the driver who caught him speeding shows that he is video recording:
This video got picked up CNN, showing a police officer pulling out a gun on a man recording his car. Luckily, the recording simultaneously might have saved him from unlawful arrest:
This law student knows his gun rights pretty well and shows them off in this video, for all YouTube to see
In this video. an attorney who also works as an Uber driver gets stopped because his passengers are being arrested. One of the policemen pretends that there is a “new law” on the books that prohibits citizens from video-recording law enforcement officers. Needless to say, that was false: