Paul Dodds is the country manager UK & Ireland at Genetec Inc. Paul has over 14 years security industry experience across installation, manufacturing and distribution. Having trained as an electronic engineer and installer, Paul has held senior positions with Xtralis, Honeywell and ESI
With recent high profile cases in the media, it seems that the public is both increasingly aware of and concerned about the relationship between security and privacy. And while it’s often discussed as an either/or scenario, those of us in the security industry know that there are many more variables to consider than that.
After all, people are reassured by the presence of security devices like cameras and access control panels. Being aware of physical security installations can make us feel safe in locations where we might otherwise feel vulnerable. At the same time, however, no one likes the idea of being monitored while going about daily tasks.
The fact is that recent advances in technology are making it easier for us to secure our businesses, organisations and communities with new ‘privacy enabled’ encryption and masking features that also uphold our right to privacy by default.
Image masking for privacy
A really exciting advancement is ‘Foreground Masking’, a new technology that allows organisations to mask individuals in video by default. With Foreground Masking, the system captures two images. The first is a full-resolution or non-blurred image that is immediately encrypted and stored. If the footage is ever required for an investigation, a copy of the full resolution, non-altered video data can be retrieved once the appropriate permissions have been acquired, albeit local, municipal, or federal order.
The second image is auto-redacted or blurred to obscure the identity of anyone seen on the video. Organisations can set their systems to blur or pixelate entire figures in their video footage. It is this second image that is seen by security operators or used on monitoring displays.
This advancement represents a shift in how we think about capturing video. Where once footage was broadcast as captured and then redacted after the fact to protect the identities of innocent civilians, Foreground Masking obscures identities at the source and then to provides unmasked copies only once a compelling reason to reveal them is established.
Authentication with multi-factor smart card credentials
Another advancement in security technology is the use of Credentialed High Assurance Video Encryption (CHAVE™), a protocol introduced by our technology partner Bosch Security Systems, Inc. Through the use of CHAVE™ enabled systems, like the one developed by Bosch, Genetec Inc., and Secure Experts, organisations can ensure that both live and recorded video is accessible to only a defined set of viewers.
CHAVE™ enabled systems provide secure identification and authentication through multi-factor smart card credentials. This IP video solution increases your system’s resilience against unauthorised access, malware, brute force cracking, and other exploit techniques. In addition, it also helps to ensure privacy as only authorised and trained security personnel have access to video footage.
A third tool that supports individual privacy by helping to maintain the security of a security system is end-to-end encryption. More specifically, this protocol is based on Secure Real-time Transport Protocol (SRTP), which hardens surveillance content against cyber-attacks and unauthorised interception.
SRTP encryption for content archiving, as well as for content in transmission between servers and their clients, protects the integrity and privacy of surveillance content from the ‘edge’, or the camera, all the way to the Archiver and Security Desk.
As the public is catching up with our concerns, those of us in the security industry have been hard at work developing tools and solutions that will deliver both security and privacy. With new Foreground Masking technology that masks identities by default, CHAVE™ enabled technology for authenticating users and access and SRTP encryption for protecting the data from the time it leaves the ‘edge’ all the way to the archive in a security system, we are able to provide the security that organisations and citizens need while ensuring the privacy that they want.