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Surveillance

ICO cautions against live facial recognition

960 640 Stuart O'Brien

The ICO has raised concerns about usage of live facial recognition technology (LFR) by the UK law enforcement community, with the current legal framework not fit for purpose.

In a blog post on the ICO website, Information Commissioner Elizabeth Denham stated that the “laws, codes and practices relating to LFR will not drive the ethical and legal approach that’s needed to truly manage the risk that this technology presents.”

The ICO has been investigating trials of LFR by the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) and South Wales Police (SWP), which it says raise serious concerns about the use of a technology that relies on huge amounts of sensitive personal information.

That investigation has culminated in the ICO making its findings and recommendations public in its the first Commissioner’s Opinion, which makes clear that there are well-defined data protection rules which police forces need to follow before and during deployment of LFR.

“The Opinion recognises the high statutory threshold that must be met to justify the use of LFR, and demonstrate accountability, under the UK’s data protection law,” wrote Denham. “That threshold is appropriate considering the potential invasiveness of this technology. My Opinion also sets out the practical steps police forces must take to demonstrate legal compliance.”

Denham also points out that while public support for the police using facial recognition to catch criminals is high, it is less so when it comes to the private sector operating the technology in a quasi-law enforcement capacity.

“We are separately investigating this use of LFR in the private sector, including where LFR in used in partnership with law enforcement. We will be reporting on those findings in due course,” she added.

Image by Oliver Peters from Pixabay

Global physical security demand to reach $153 billion by 2026

960 639 Stuart O'Brien

The global physical security market has been pegged at $78 billion in 2018, and is projected to reach $153 billion by 2026, equivalent to a CAGR of 11% between 2019 an d the end of the forecast period.

The study, conducted by Report Consultant, cites increasing demand for security measures against terrorist attacks and for controlling the business assets.

Secondary factors include increasing usage of IoT and the development of smart transportation systems to track the location of automobiles.

For the purposes of the research, Report Consultant describes physical security as measures designed to protect the property from any attacks and to cease unauthorised access – it’s clearly a broad term which includes CCTV surveillance, security guards, protective barriers, locks, access control protocols, security scanning, metal detection, etc, hence the large forecasted value.

Key global players highlighted in the report include Anixter International Inc. (U.S.), Cisco Systems, Inc. (U.S.), Tyco International PLC (Ireland), Bosch Security Systems, Inc. (Germany), ADT Corporation (U.S.), Genetec Inc. (Canada), Honeywell International, Inc. (U.S.), Pelco (U.S.), Stanley Security (U.S.) and Senstar Corporation (Canada).

Government pushes Secure by Default CCTV initiative

960 640 Stuart O'Brien

The Surveillance Camera Commissioner has launched Secure by Default – minimum requirements for manufacturers of surveillance camera systems and components.

The government says the move is driven by the need to ensure the UK’s resilience against cyber security vulnerability, as well as to provide the best possible assurance that cameras are manufactured to minimum cyber secure requirements.

It says the minimum requirements are an important step forward for manufacturers, installers and users alike. Manufacturers self-certify their products as secure by default.

S.A.F.E systems were the first organisation to be awarded the mark. Dave Lawrie, Director, said: “Given the fact that our main focus is the provision, supply and installation of CCTV systems into licensed vehicles, secure by default is essential not only for driver and local authority confidence in our product and service, but for public confidence in the security of their data.”

Easy application process

Manufacturers can demonstrate they meet the minimum requirements by completing a self-certification form and submitting it to the Commissioner’s office for validation.

Lawrie added: “The application process was very straight forward, the majority of the questions asked were within our default design anyway so easy to answer, it was also very reassuring that any aspects which required further correspondence were not simply dismissed, but were actually followed up on to gain a greater understanding of our product. It was very professional.”

Organisations who are successful in their application will be issued with a certificate and Secure by Default certification mark from the Commissioner and will have their products listed on the Commissioner’s website.

To find out more about the Secure by Default certification, how to apply and which organisations have been awarded the certification mark visit the Commissioner’s website.

NYPD to deploy drones in fight against crime

960 640 Stuart O'Brien

The NYPD has unveiled its Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) program, which will be comprised of newly acquired Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV), or drones, and licensed NYPD officers of the Technical Assistance Response Unit (TARU) who will operate them.

The tech will be used across various operations, including search and rescue, inaccessible crime scenes, hostage situations, or hazardous material incidents

The Technical Assistance Response Unit (TARU) provides specialised investigative equipment and tactical support to all bureaus within the NYPD, from officers on patrol to the Emergency Service Unit (ESU).

The NYPD says its new unit’s expertise in audio/visual technology will help enhance investigations through the recovery of surveillance video footage; record police action at large-scale demonstrations and arrest situations; and provide crucial live video to incident commanders during ongoing emergency situations.

“As the largest municipal police department in the United States, the NYPD must always be willing to leverage the benefits of new and always-improving technology,” said Police Commissioner James P. O’Neill. “Our new UAS program is part of this evolution – it enables our highly-trained cops to be even more responsive to the people we serve, and to carry out the NYPD’s critical work in ways that are more effective, efficient, and safe for everyone.”

The UAS program can help NYPD gather crucial information as situations unfold without putting officers at risk and lessen harm and danger to civilian bystanders and other involved parties.

Across the US there are more than 900 state and local police, fire and emergency units with UAVs. During the NYPD’s research and development stage, NYPD officials met with other police departments to learn about their programs.

Additionally, the Department solicited feedback from City Council members and advocates.

Guest Blog, Paul Dodds: Delivering security and privacy with video surveillance systems…

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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.

End-to-end encryption

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.