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Seize operational, marketing and security insights from CCTV, while protecting individuals’ right to privacy.
The dramatic increase in closed circuit television (CCTV) means that existing teams of operators are unable to monitor the vast quantity of video data being generated. So while this technology often represents a sizable investment, many of it remains vastly underused.
This is why video analytics is proving to be such a game-changer. Organizations no longer have to depend on teams of human operators to process and analyze real-time and/or historical video data. Instead, they can tap into automatic monitoring and analysis of video streams.
Video analytics technologies range from basic motion detection to more advanced capabilities such as counting, tracking, anomaly detection and complex behavioral analysis. Because multiple video analytics algorithms generate various types of events for individual cameras, an unprecedented level of data granularity is available—on a 24/7 basis—providing a rich information source to exploit in real time, and to mine for historical trends.
Video analytics can be tremendously beneficial in the field of security. This was especially evident following the April 2013 Boston bombing, when security agencies used video analytics technologies to scrutinize thousands of hours of CCTV video footage. In another example, a large European shopping center used Accenture’s face recognition solution to scan up to 15,000 customers per day and generate accurate, automated notifications for known individuals with less than 0.5 percent false alerts.
But enhanced security capabilities are just part of the picture. As video analytics technologies continue to evolve and become more affordable, many organizations are beginning to investigate how they can also help deliver heightened visibility into operational performance, as well as what is happening in the external environment.
Privacy is clearly a top concern when considering video analytics. Mitigating these concerns can require several specific considerations, including:
Procedural—Procedural measures encompass approaches for reducing the impact or likelihood of privacy intrusion through good design or operational process.
Educational—Effective and clear communication on what a video analytics solution will be used for, and how video data will be collected and handled, is key to successful user acceptance/uptake.
Technological—An ever-increasing range of technological capabilities can help systems developers enhance the privacy protection of their solutions, beyond traditional data security measures, such as encryption.
Regulatory—Regulators not only set and enforce rules for how personal data should be processed, but they are also starting to move toward a new approach that rewards organizations for the effectiveness of their data privacy compliance programs.
Accenture believes people will become less suspicious of—and increasingly comfortable with—video analytics technologies, just as they have previously shifted from skepticism to enthusiasm for credit cards, mobile phones, ecommerce and social media. We expect fewer irrational fears as video analytics becomes better understood and supported by an improved framework of standardized, regulated ways to handle the privacy issues that may arise in some limited circumstances.
And because video analytics allows data to be processed without bias—only revealing information to operators when there is a motive for doing so—we believe we will see this technology being applied to enhance data privacy for existing CCTV systems.
From automated passport control gates to next-generation intelligent cities, video analytics is already in use and providing tangible benefits. In addition to applying video analytics for security and safety purposes, and deeper operational insights, organizations will use these technologies to engage with customers and citizens in new ways, while preserving or enhancing privacy.
April 28, 2014
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