Privacy protection through technology

June 27, 2008 at 2:00 am Leave a comment

Another ThinkingShift reader has sent me a gem. New Scientist has news of technology that hides the identity of people in CCTV footage and will only “unscramble” the faces of people if they are acting suspiciously. Watch these two videos to get the idea. The first video shows how software from US firm 3VR would hide the faces of people unless there was a need to unscramble due to suspicious activity.

The second video shows similar technology from Emitall, a Swiss company. Their software blurs out people’s faces and cars.

Praise the technology Gods! I’m excited about the prospect of technology actually helping us to protect ourselves. But as the article points out, at this stage of development with the software, it still relies on the people behind the CCTV cameras to not unscramble an image just because they are curious to see what someone looks like! Also it doesn’t blur or hide other identifiers like distinctive jewellery or clothing. But at least we have companies thinking about how to help us all live with intrusive technology without giving up every last shred of privacy protection.

Thx to Andrew Mitchell for alerting me to the article. Andrew leads the technology and knowledge team at Urbis.

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Entry filed under: CCTV, Privacy, Public webcams, Surveillance society, YouTube. Tags: , .

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