Okey-dokee, <deep breath>, here we go, brace, brace, brace...
The increasingly capable technology that allows the easy recording of essentially everything, as well as the nearly real-time or instantaneous monitoring of it, is, in itself, not a bad thing. As the saying goes, if we don't learn from history, we are bound to relive it.In the case of tragedy, to NOT use this technology would then become itself, tragedy.
Sadly, the same human imperfections that allow these mistakes to occur also allow for the abuse of that same technology, as I hinted above. There is the human trait of "rubber-necking", or the inability to turn away from the proverbial train wreck despite the potential gore - of possibly because of it. There is the human behavior that, largely due to their lack of knowledge on a subject, people become offended by information whose meaning they don't fully comprehend and then create the proverbial tempest in a teapot. Finally add in the human trait of manipulating the information meant to help maintain a safety culture in a highly technical field could also be used in non-safety related ways to give a separate group some kind of advantage which usually, but not always, means money.
Pilots are humans, too, of course. What separates a professional pilot from 'just' pilots and non-pilots is generally their ability to understand abstract concepts and efficiently apply them to routine operations of high performance aircraft. This description is deserved through the rigorous amount of training and standards required to fly professionally. Does it mean all professional are "sky gods"? Far from it (see the first 3 words of this paragraph) but in the U.S. system, being a "qualified" crewmember in any U.S. airline means you've done a lot more than just 'love to fly' and had an extra $100,000 laying around to blow on flight training. (There are ALWAYS exception to the rule, but stay with me here...)
Despite these qualifications, when we sit up there on the flight deck, our ability to function for up to a 16-hour work day is dependent on a lot of things, including the ability to 'entertain' our minds while the jet, on autopilot, drones across the sky in that 15th hour of duty and 8th hour of flight operations which in itself is the culmination of a myriad of decisions we've processed throughout that day - gate delays, passenger issues, Flight Attendent concerns, modified ATC clearances, maintenance deferrals and how they will alter our legality in the operation of an already complex dance of weather, systems limitations and human factors. When we are finally in that smooth air in the waning hours of the day, we are NOT glued to the engine instruments waiting for a hiccup of data that will send us into a flurry of checklists, but in reality, we are trying to find a way to mentally keep us awake and in the game, together with a prudent schedule of monitoring the overall progress of the flight.
To the unblinking eye of a camera, and taken without context, a video of almost anything NOT flight related would be, to the un-educated or biased eye, incriminating. If an FAA that thinks a flight crew should be fully alert in a day at the 8th hour or flying after 15 hours of operations, late at night, why would they rule any differently if one of the pilots, say, pulled out some of his or her email to read while trying to stay mentally engaged under these conditions? Yes, the FAA does state that ultimately the pilot "knows best" and remove themselves from this condition, but the then the FAA should also "know best" that in our highly competitive business environment, if you allow a business to make a long, busy schedule regardless of weather, they WILL do it if it makes them money. Pilots know that grounding an airplane at an outstation is a VERY costly event, not to mention inconveient for their passengers. But, you know, wink-wink, pilots are always fit to fly or they call in unfit!
The realistic answer is that, until everyone gets a lot more honest with their own behaviors (or the behavior of the entity they are responsible for) things like cockpit video recorders will keep running into jet-stream-like headwinds.