Outrage over German Police depending on Amazon’s cloud service for storing body cam videos

Storing such highly sensitive information with a private US company posed an ‘incalculable risk.’

The German Federal Police have been found to be using Amazon’s cloud for storing video footage from their body cameras. This practice by the police has garnered heavy criticism over privacy and security issues.

According to the latest newspaper report by The Neue Osnabrucker Zeitung, the German police had to use the Amazon’s Cloud Service as it is the only company with a certificate from the Federal Office for Information Security. On top of that, the infrastructure provided to the police officers is severely limited and has pushed them into using Amazon’s Cloud Service as their last resort.

Several people from the German government have responded over this issue and have strongly objected the practice. Benjamin Strasser, one of the lawmakers from the opposition has said that storing such highly sensitive information with a private US company posed an ‘incalculable risk.’ He also warned that the Federal Police had to expand its capacity so as to preserve the sovereignty over the core state function of internal security.

Konstantin von Notz, the deputy chairmen of the Greens Parliamentary group had expressed his concerns as well. He said that Amazon sells facial recognition software to the US Government and the police use that software for analyzing body cam videos as well.

“That this company is now to administer the body cam recordings for the Federal Police leaves more than a bad feeling,” said Notz.

Though the servers that store the video data of the German Police might physically reside in Germany, the US Government has access over those videos according to the US Cloud Act.

Though the body cams were used as a measure of protection and evidence for police officers, many Germans have expressed their discomfort over a period of time.

In a response to the outrage about using Amazon’s Cloud Infrastructure, the Interior Ministry of Germany said that this practice was in compliance with the data security standards of Germany.

On the other hand, the deputy chairman of the Police Union said that dependency on a single company might cause practical issues and raise competition. Though having entire control over data might seem desirable, it is not achievable in the near future.

Naga Pramod

Naga Pramod is a computer science major and tech news reporter with a passion for cyber security, networking, and data science. [email protected]