After the Las Vegas concert shooting, the Clarke County Sheriff’s office asked the general public to share any and all video footage of the incident. Such evidence has become increasingly crucial to police investigations. But law enforcement agencies don’t have an efficient way to receive, store and sort through the material. Enter the cloud-based Axon Citizen, from the good folks who make and sell TASERs and police body cams . . .
“The citizen receives a URL via text message that they can click to upload their photos or video footage,” Axon’s presser proclaims [full text below]. “The evidence goes straight into Evidence.com so community members do not need to hand their phones over to police. The direct upload to Evidence.com eliminates any need for officers to download, print and transfer data to a USB drive and physically place it inside an evidence locker at the agency.”
OK, so, what about privacy? Yeah, not so much, as asterisked text indicates:
*Axon Citizen will do everything possible to not capture obvious attribution data without tampering with the evidence submission, or destroying the usefulness of the submitted evidence.
To be clear, while Evidence.com is not capturing any personal contact information, there is still metadata embedded in the image being submitted, and the inherent contextual information in the image/video/audio itself that could be used through investigative efforts by law enforcement to identify the submitter.
Not so anonymous, eh Mr. Bond? As if any communication is these days. Still, a good idea and a great business for Axon.
Announcing Axon Citizen, A New Public Evidence Submission Portal For U.S. Law Enforcement
Allows community members to volunteer evidence to police to help solve ongoing investigations faster
SCOTTSDALE, AZ, and SEATTLE, WA October 19, 2017 – Axon (Nasdaq: AAXN), the global leader in connected law enforcement technologies, today announced Axon Citizen, a public safety portal that allows community members to submit evidence directly to law enforcement agencies only for crimes under investigation.
There are two ways in which officers can solicit help from the community: one-on-one between an officer and the citizen, or with a community-wide broadcast requesting information on a specific crime. The one-on-one tool is available now for Axon customers signed up for early access. It will be available to all U.S. customers on the Evidence.com Pro, Ultimate, or Unlimited licensing tiers at no incremental cost, with no additional storage fees, later this year.
The large-event community broadcast Citizen tool will include additional software capabilities to help triage the massive amounts of data that may be submitted and will be available for an additional enterprise license based on the size of the agency. Learn more by visiting www.axon.com/citizen.
“Axon Citizen is a great example of the power of our cloud based technology model,” says Axon CEO and founder, Rick Smith. “Our customers will receive the breakthrough ability to collect one-on-one information from members of the community via a seamless software update. Similar to when we launched multi-cam sync a few months ago, we endeavor to delight our customers with unexpected new features that extend the capability of their Axon experience.”
With the increasing prevalence of photos and video recordings being captured on mobile devices, Axon Citizen enables law enforcement agencies to securely receive and manage community submissions relating to a specific crime.
The citizen receives a URL via text message that they can click to upload their photos or video footage. The evidence goes straight into Evidence.com so community members do not need to hand their phones over to police. The direct upload to Evidence.com eliminates any need for officers to download, print and transfer data to a USB drive and physically place it inside an evidence locker at the agency.
Axon Citizen will include the following features and benefits:
– Accelerates the review process: Axon Citizen’s triage tool allows the reviewer to quickly decide which submissions to accept or decline.
– Streamlines searching: All submissions are automatically categorized and searchable within Evidence.com to simplify case building.
– Keeps community privacy in mind: For people who prefer to submit evidence without formal attribution, Axon Citizen allows the community member to submit without inputting any personal information.*
– Offers network reliability: Axon Citizen provides agencies the infrastructure and tools needed to support large volumes of submissions, so agencies can remain confident during large-scale events.
– Seamless integration with Evidence.com: Data submitted with Axon Citizen is maintained at the highest levels of security and compliance on Axon’s Evidence.com solution.
Axon’s Evidence.com solution is a trusted and proven cloud service that provides law enforcement secure workflows and sharing capabilities to aid in the management of digital evidence. We are committed to the ongoing security, privacy and compliance of the Evidence.com service and data stored within. Evidence.com maintains ISO 27001 and ISO 27018 certifications, has been awarded the Cloud Security Alliance’s STAR Level 2 attestation, and has contractually committed to the Criminal Justice Information Services (CJIS) Security Policy within all states.
In addition to working with public safety agencies, Axon surveyed a sampling of more than 1,500 community members nationwide to develop a system that would suit their needs. The survey found that more than one-fifth (21%) of respondents had captured digital evidence pertinent to a police investigation, but fewer than half (45%) had submitted that evidence to the police.
More than half of respondents (65%) were extremely likely or somewhat likely to proceed with sharing evidence if only a text message was involved. With this valuable community input, we were able to create a product that meets the needs of both law enforcement officers and citizens.
We will be showcasing Axon Citizen along with other products at the International Association of Chiefs of Police conference in Philadelphia on October 22-23, at Booth Number 2825.
*Axon Citizen will do everything possible to not capture obvious attribution data without tampering with the evidence submission, or destroying the usefulness of the submitted evidence. To be clear, while Evidence.com is not capturing any personal contact information, there is still metadata embedded in the image being submitted, and the inherent contextual information in the image/video/audio itself that could be used through investigative efforts by law enforcement to identify the submitter.
The Axon network is a network of devices, apps and people that helps law enforcement become smarter and safer. Our mission is to protect life. Our technologies give law enforcement the confidence, focus and time they need to keep their communities safe. Our products impact every aspect of an officer’s day-to-day experience:
In the field – Our Smart Weapons offer a less-lethal intermediate use of force response and our body-worn and in-car cameras collect video evidence to capture the truth of an incident; and our mobile applications enable simple evidence collection.
At the station – Our secure, cloud-based digital evidence management solution allows officers and command staff to manage, review, share and process digital evidence using forensic, redaction, transcription, and other tools.
In the courtroom – Our solutions for prosecutors make collaborating across jurisdictions and agencies easy so that cases can be resolved quickly.
We work hard for those who put themselves in harm’s way for all of us. To date, there are more than 169,000 licensed users from around the world and more than 190,000 lives and countless dollars have been saved with the Axon network of devices, apps and people. Learn more at www.axon.com or by calling (800) 978-2737.
Axon, the “Axon Delta” logo, Axon network, Axon Citizen, Smart Weapons, and Evidence.com are trademarks of Axon Enterprise, Inc., some of which are registered in the U.S. and other countries. For more information, visit www.axon.com/legal. All rights reserved.