2018 Bills

HB 265: Body Camera Retention

This bill passed the House and the Senate unanimously.

Libertas Institute supports this bill

Staff review of this legislation finds that it is aligned with our principles and merits support.

Last fall, a popular company that produces body cameras and manages digital evidence (for example, body camera footage) began asserting part ownership in the body camera footage it stored—conflicting with open records laws governing the footage that police officers generate.

The terms and conditions being required of users stated, in part, “you grant us a non-exclusive, transferable, irrevocable, royalty-free, sub-licensable, worldwide license to use any IP Content that you post on or in connection with the Services.” Many understandably have expressed concern that public records could be treated in this way.

Following the implementation of a widely negotiated body camera law for police officers in Utah, Representative Dan Mccay is sponsoring House Bill 265 to amend the law and explicitly rule out this type of arrangement.

If it passes, the law would state that a private entity (such as this company) could not retain body camera footage if the entity “has any ownership or reasonable expectancy of ownership in the recording.”

Law enforcement agencies in Utah that are currently in a contract that violates this law would be grandfathered in, though prohibited by law from renewing that contract one it expires.