Upgrade access control systems with a completely cable-free, even more cost-effective solution – Aperio® Offline
Upgrade access control systems with a completely cable-free, even more cost-effective solution – Aperio® Offline

Aperio® Offline access control doors now allow access control system manufacturers (OEMs) and system integrators to offer even more favourably priced solutions, thus creating a competitive advantage for themselves. All they need to do is integrate Aperio® components into their system, an easy task. Aperio® Offline is particularly suitable for doors which cannot be wired, are used very little or are a distance away from other doors. Very easy to install, an Aperio® Offline cylinder or escutcheon is mounted onto the door and then integrated into the access control system. Access authorisations are saved onto existing RFID user cards or transponders. Doors are all managed using the same access control system, whether they feature Aperio® Offline or Online. Users receive new or modified access authorisations from a central point. One special feature in Aperio® Offline is its status message capability used to indicate low battery status or a jammed lock and transmit other door signals to the access control system via the cards or transponders. This allows system maintenance to rectify faults or replace batteries within a short space of time. Lost user cards and transponders can be cancelled by placing them on a blacklist or become automatically invalid after a specific period of time. Able to support up to 16 time schedules, Aperio® Offline also offers a permanently open mode (office mode) and door status change (toggle mode). For customers or end-users, the greatest advantage lies in the fact that they can now choose the right access control system for every door scenario. Regardless of whether the door is Aperio® Online or Offline, both can be administered using the same access control system.  Aperio® Offline cylinders or escutcheons can also be easily used for Aperio® Online if operators wish to integrate a door into an online system at a later date. In such a case, the door is incorporated into the access control system via a wireless communications hub, thus providing a favourably priced, non-wired, online solution.

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SMARTair from TESA – Flexible access rights management
SMARTair from TESA – Flexible access rights management

One size does not fit all when it comes to managing a facility's access rights. With SMARTair™ from TESA, security managers have a choice between 4 levels of access control, each tailored to the needs of different doors and premises. And you don't need to choose one: all of them can work together in the same organisation, providing exactly the appropriate rights management solution for each door—online or offline, high or medium security. SMARTair™ Stand-Alone is suited for smaller premises and low-traffic doors. Facility managers update access rights at the door using the supplied programming card. No access control software is needed. SMARTair™ Offline provides an extra layer of security. In addition to SMARTair™ Stand-Alone features, access rights can be scheduled and it's easy to generate a manual audit trail for any door in the facility. The SMARTair™ Update on Card option adds more automated access rights management, and is suited to buildings with more doors and higher footfall. Access rights are managed via a wall updater. Facility managers can update access directly via user cards, schedule access rights when needed, and generate automatic audit trails with the easy-to-use system management software. SMARTair™ Wireless Online provides the maximum level of system control for large, busy and high-security doors or buildings. A network of wireless hubs links doors to the company's access control system. It's easy for security managers to update or deny access rights wirelessly, or to generate real-time audit trails for any lock in the organisation. Moreover, system managers can open doors remotely via a web browser or mobile app. Facility managers can pick 1, 2, or even all 4, of these SMARTair™ solutions to fine tune their organisation's access rights management. And SMARTair™ gives facilities managers the power to manage access to more than just doors. As well as electronic cylinders, escutcheons, locks, and wall readers, SMARTair™ provides locks for cabinets, lifts, vending machines, and lockers. With SMARTair™ from TESA, it is simple to manage the rights of every lock within one single, secure access system.

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Clay – access control via the cloud from SALTO
Clay – access control via the cloud from SALTO

Clay by SALTO is a ground-breaking new product that provides an electronic access control solution with vastly better functionality and performance than is possible in a traditional mechanical solution. Until now many SME’s (Small Medium Enterprise’s) have been unable to take advantage of many of the top technological solutions in access control largely because of the cost and complexity of those systems. Clay™ combines a cloud-based intuitive software platform that is easy and fast to understand and manage, with high quality and design hardware that is easy and quick to install, providing the same features as wired systems at less than 70% of the cost. Its increased security comes from users being able to easily and intuitively establish, consult, change and cancel specific access rights by person and place and time, and all in real-time, thus eliminating the problems and limitations of their existing mechanical solutions, such as the costs associated with changing locks, keys, and cylinders when keys get lost. Clay™ incorporates SALTO Systems’ wireless hardware, capitalising on SALTO’s outstanding products that have seen the company become one of the world’s top electronic lock manufacturers, with more than one million electronic locks installed globally. The key hardware element is the Clay™ IQ that serves as the hub between the wireless lock and the cloud, and is so simple to set up, users need only plug it into a standard electrical socket. Neither router configuration, nor any other cabling is required. SALTO has grown to be the market leader in Data-on-Card and wireless access control solutions by focusing on and delivering what the market needs to stay secure not just today, but tomorrow as well. The revolutionary new Clay™ product utilizes the versatility of the cloud to give owners of SME businesses the ability to control their building access remotely and manage it in real-time via any device with an internet connection, providing security that is both flexible and future-proof.

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HID Global’s iCLASS SE Platform expanded to include Credential Encoding Solution
HID Global’s iCLASS SE Platform expanded to include Credential Encoding Solution

The new iCLASS SE Encoder, a desktop solution and developer toolkit (DTK) from HID Global enables organisations to encode and instantly issue cards using a single device. The multi-technology encoder makes it easier for customers to migrate from current technologies to the higher security, adaptability and portability of the company’s iCLASS SE access control platform. The solution gives organisations the convenience of encoding a broad range of current and future technologies, with the option for customers to create and manage keys and configure readers locally or through HID Global’s iCLASS and SE Elite programme. “Migrating current systems to operate with our iCLASS SE platform has never been easier with the new iCLASS Encoder that empowers customers to encode and format an extensive range of credential technologies, on demand, through an easy and straightforward process,” said Helmut Dansachmueller, vice president of product marketing, credentials and embedded technologies with HID Global. “HID Global’s goal with the encoder is to give users the technology flexibility and confidence in their access control systems investments as they move to high frequency and future technologies.”   The iCLASS SE Encoder provides an entirely open solution and that allows organisations to encode multiple credential technologies, including both genuine HID and third-party credentials, in order to upgrade existing card populations for use with iCLASS SE platform readers. For maximum interoperability, the solution supports Seos, iCLASS SE, standard iCLASS, MIFARE Classic and MIFARE DESFire EV1. The encoder also supports 125 MHz HID Prox for encoding Prox credentials as well as migrating from HID Prox to high frequency technologies. Users can seamlessly and easily migrate from one technology to another by simply extracting access control data from an existing card and writing it to the new credential, without having to manually input data or understand encoding details. For even higher security, users can “wrap” their access control data within a Secure Identity Object (SIO) and then write it back to the same card.  Based on open architecture, the encoder enables SIOs to be added to the full range of supported cards, including MIFARE and DESFire credentials. The HID Global Developer Tool Kit (DTK) for the iCLASS SE Encoder Platform is designed for systems integrators, OEM’s and solution providers who wish to integrate contactless encoding capabilities into their products and leverage the advantages of the iCLASS SE ecosystem. Key features: Programme standard security or Elite credentials Securely manage credential keys Multiple format support Programme Genuine HID or third-party credentials by downloading appropriate Encoder Credits Developer Tool Kit (DTK) provides all the necessary tools, documentation and developer resources to allow integration of the iCLASS SE Encoder into third party applications. HID Global is also introducing a flexible credential encoding applet structure that is based on an easy-to-manage credit system. Users install only the applets they require for the technology credentials they currently need, and can add applets to support other existing or future technology credentials over time. In addition, the iCLASS SE Encoder is field-programmable and upgradeable for added versatility.   The encoder is part of HID Global’s award-winning iCLASS SE platform, which empowers users to implement a combination of credential technology, traditional smart cards and smartphones that meet the specific needs of their access control system. HID Global also plans to offer credential encoding capabilities via its FARGO printer line and its HID Secure Identity Services portal. For more information visit: https://www.hidglobal.com/developer-center/iclass-se-encoder-platform

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Access control systems & kits - Expert commentary

Q&A: Bosch Video Systems & Solutions' Michael Seiter and Magnus Ekerot on smart technology, "AIot", and plans for 2021
Q&A: Bosch Video Systems & Solutions' Michael Seiter and Magnus Ekerot on smart technology, "AIot", and plans for 2021

Q: Mr. Seiter, Mr. Ekerot, you both joined Bosch Building Technologies’ business unit Video Systems & Solutions as Senior Vice Presidents in March 2020, when the Coronavirus pandemic was just beginning. How did your business unit get through 2020? Magnus Ekerot: The crisis was also felt at Bosch. At the same time, demand has risen for solutions that keep businesses open and protect people's health. We offer corresponding video solutions that can make a significant contribution to containing the pandemic.  Michael Seiter: Overall, we managed the past year well despite the challenges and have been growing again since the third quarter compared to 2019. We see good opportunities for further growth in 2021. Q: Has the Corona crisis again accelerated the development of smart technologies in the security technology market, and does the security market in contrast to most industries benefit from the crisis more than it suffers? Michael Seiter: The Corona crisis has definitely demonstrated that the future lies in data-driven solutions. Thanks to our product development strategy already being based on this, we at Bosch were very quickly able to develop new products for the ‘New Normal’ and to expand existing products accordingly. To give one or two examples: in cooperation with Philips, we very quickly developed a people counting solution for retail operations – smart Philips displays in conjunction with smart cameras from Bosch that provide protection for staff and customers. The In-Store Analytics software solution was also implemented with additional features. Shop owners can now make decisions based on customer movement data such as “Where do we position products to avoid queues or crowds?” HTD involves a touch-free monitoring system to accurately and speedily identify people with heightened skin temperature  The latest highlight is the Bosch Human Skin Temperature Detection solution, in short HTD. This involves a touch-free monitoring system to accurately and speedily identify people with heightened skin temperature at control points in offices, factory floors, or airports. The benefits of previously existing solutions on the market are sometimes called into question. Competitors are often unable to deliver what they promise because, for example, the measured temperature of the skin does not correspond to the core temperature of the person, or fluctuates, due to environmental influences. Therefore, we developed a software-based solution that, in compliance with GDPR, first allows people with potentially elevated body temperatures to be filtered out, and in a second step, allows medical personnel to perform a more targeted fever measurement. Q: You see a lot of potential for the video security industry in new technologies such as Artificial Intelligence and the Internet of Things. What specific opportunities do you mean, and how are you leveraging these technologies at Bosch Building Technologies? Michael Seiter: Bosch has committed itself fully to an “AIoT” – AI meets IoT – strategy. The development of AI algorithms and software, in general, is at Bosch significantly driven in the security space.  By AIoT, we specifically mean the networking of physical products and the deployment of artificial intelligence. With AI we aim to enable clients to understand events at an ever-deeper level and predict them in the future – the keyword being predictive – so that they can act proactively. This is particularly important for health and safety. An example is the Intelligent Insights solution where the user can anticipate potentially dangerous situations, for instance in maintaining social distance and a maximum number of people numbers in any one area. Q: From your point of view do you have an advantage over other suppliers when it comes to AI-based products in the video arena? Michael Seiter: The analysis and utilisation of video data have long been front and centre with us. Since 2016 we’ve been following the strategy of offering AI applications in the form of integrated intelligent video analytics as a standard in our network cameras. Data such as colour, object size, object speed, and direction are all measured. Simply put, you can say this is seeing and understanding – which is the principle behind smart security cameras. Today it’s much more a question of intelligent, data-based solutions than collecting high-quality pictures and storing them for the record. Bosch has been investing heavily in AI for years, from which we can benefit greatly in our area. In the first quarter, for example, we will launch a vehicle detector based on deep learning that is already running on our cameras. This will create significant added value for our customers in the area of intelligent traffic control. Q: Mr. Ekerot, what advantages do customers have in AI-based video security from Bosch? Magnus Ekerot: A key advantage is strong customer focus with tailored solutions that are at the same time modular and scalable through new AI algorithms A key advantage is our strong customer focus with tailored solutions that are at the same time modular and scalable through new AI algorithms. Take the example of Camera Trainer, a machine learning software that can be directly uploaded to Bosch network cameras. The camera is thus trained up on recognising objects and situations – tailored to the specific needs of our customers. If the camera detects the defined scenario, it performs a predefined action in real-time – for example, a count or an alarm. The latest example is our new camera platform Inteox. As a completely open camera platform, Inteox combines Bosch's intelligent video analytics with an open operating system. This allows programmers to develop specific software applications - or apps - for various application purposes. These can then be loaded onto cameras – the same principle as an app store for smartphones. To sum up, Bosch AI applications support customer-specific needs related to data analysis while enabling totally new applications within and beyond the video security market. Q: Can you name a specific current project where Bosch has deployed an AI-based solution? Magnus Ekerot: A current ground-breaking project using our smart cameras is being implemented as a pilot in the USA. Smart Ohio enables users to configure more intelligent traffic flows and thus ensure mobility, safety, and the efficient use of roads today and tomorrow. The new vehicle detector mentioned by Mr. Seiter also plays a central role here. Our overall goal is to provide connected smart sensor solutions for public and private transportation agencies to enable them to operate their roads safely and efficiently. The Intelligent Insights can anticipate potentially dangerous situations, for instance in maintaining social distance and a maximum number of people numbers in any one area Q: Mr. Seiter, you have been involved with the topic of mobility for some time. What experience from your previous job in the automotive business of Bosch might help you when it comes to further develop the video portfolio of Bosch Building Technologies? Michael Seiter: There's a lot to tell. First of all, the development of core algorithms for video-based solutions, whether for autonomous driving, for vehicle interior monitoring, or for our Bosch Building Technologies video systems, all come together at Bosch's Hildesheim location. This gives us considerable synergies and allows us to bring R&D results to market faster and more flexibly. Essentially, assisted driving systems use AI algorithms that process ever-increasing volumes of video data. Attempts are being made to imitate the human being and enable the vehicle to understand better the surrounding environment with its ‘eyes’. This predictive capability is especially critical with autonomous driving. For example, key questions include: “How should the car respond and what could potentially happen next?” “What kind of environment does it find itself in?” etc. There are many activities in this area at Bosch that in my new role in security we can also strongly benefit from. I am now bringing a lot of this experience and existing R&D achievements to Bosch Video Systems & Solutions, which also results in further synergies with our mobility division: At Stuttgart Airport, autonomous driving is already being implemented together with Mercedes-Benz and the parking garage operator Apcoa as part of the "Automated Valet Parking" project, or AVP for short, in which intelligent video systems from Bosch Building Technologies are making a significant contribution. Mr. Ekerot, you have a lot of experience in the video security area. Where do you position Bosch Building Technologies now in this market and what specific goals are you pursuing? Magnus Ekerot: Our clients are looking for reliable partners and products. We are a strong brand; you can rely on Bosch products. Bosch is a thought leader in video and a pioneer in AI applications in this field since 2016. Data security is everything to us: Our products conform to the EU’s GDPR regulations. Beyond that, we have an extensive camera portfolio that complies with the US National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for video security devices. This enables our portfolio to be deployed for example within US government buildings. We are planning to conclude more software maintenance agreements with our clients in 2021. These deliver investment and future security for our customers and include for example a ‘patch guarantee’ along with regular updates with new functionalities. This is the first step in a comprehensive plan to access new revenue channels for us and our partners delivering the best technology and excellent service to the end-user! Overall, many new products will be launched this year and this trend will intensify. Our goal is to establish new product families that follow a simple principle: “The development and delivery of disruptive, predictive video solutions that every user can trust because of the underlying sustainable forward-thinking mindset.” It’s been much discussed of late that Bosch is one of the very first companies globally that operates on a CO2-neutral basis. How does sustainability impact your business? Magnus Ekerot: IoT solutions are actually sustainable and contribute to environmental protection Our IoT solutions are actually sustainable and contribute to environmental protection. For example, our cameras are sustainable in that they remain up-to-date through software updates and needn’t be constantly exchanged for new ones. Our systems demonstrate sustainability also operationally as they can be managed remotely. System integrators don’t need to be physically present, thus avoiding unnecessary travel with its accompanying emissions. All in all, Bosch Building Technologies develops ways to accompany and support our clients in reaching their climate goals via new technologies. This can be done, for example, through improved energy efficiency, the total cost of ownership models, organising and simplifying the supply chain, and helping our customers meet their social responsibilities. The Power of Bosch helps us here to leverage company-wide research to be two steps ahead, a shade faster, when it comes to new technologies and initiatives that our and future generations will benefit from. I should also say that I am personally very proud to work for a company that set an ambitious climate goal for itself and achieved it! Can you already share a preview of your technology innovations in 2021? Michael Seiter: We see great market potential for our cameras that use artificial intelligence and can be updated flexibly throughout their lifecycles. I have already mentioned the deep learning-based vehicle detector in our cameras. More such solutions – also for other applications where object and person recognition are important – will follow in the course of the year. And the best part is: with AI, the more data we collect and the more intelligently we use it, the better the solutions become and the more added value they bring to the customer. This will revolutionise our industry! Another example is our cloud-based solutions, for example for alarm monitoring. Here, we can now also integrate third-party cameras and, building on this, offer and jointly develop our intelligent software-based solutions. This gives our customers more opportunities to take advantage of the opportunities created by AI. The trend towards integration of the various security technologies seems to be driven mostly by the rapid progress in software development. Does this affect full-range suppliers such as Bosch and what specific plans for fully integrated security solutions do you have for the future? Michael Seiter: Naturally, this suits us as a full-scope supplier. Bosch solutions are deployed in many cross-domain client projects. We have experts for the different domains under one roof and a strong brand with the same quality promise for all areas. Nevertheless, it is always also about specific domain excellence. Only when you master all different areas and have profound and proven expertise in each of them you can succeed in integrated cross-domain projects. The respective business units craft their future strategies and innovation roadmaps with this in mind – as we do in the field of Video Systems & Solutions. Our business unit offers fully integrated Bosch video solutions that can be extended and operated on open systems. This is why we drive open platforms such as Inteox, to offer customers from a wide range of industries the right solutions. Our Bosch Integration Partner Program that we launched in 2012 is also heading in this direction – every product can be integrated into multiple other systems and VMS solutions. In summary: At Bosch, we are both a one-stop-shop, but also an open-system, meaning we offer customers maximum flexibility in their choice of products and services.

We need to talk about intelligent enclosure protection
We need to talk about intelligent enclosure protection

Enclosures containing electronics, communications or cabling infrastructure offer a simple attack point for cyber breaches and an opportunity for a physical attack on the hardware. Yet, many of these assets are housed within enclosures that provide minimal security features to offer a deterrent to any would-be attacker. This has always just been a pet hate. Walking down the high street of a town anywhere in the United Kingdom, you can often see open street communication cabinets. You can actually look directly inside at the equipment. And if I was a bad guy, I could quite easily just put my foot into their enclosure and quite quickly take out their infrastructure. Charged service for enclosures This seems crazy when a US$ 2 magnetic contact on a door can quickly tell you whether your enclosure is open or shut, and can be vital in keeping your network alive. Moreover, the operators of these systems, whether it is telecoms or internet providers, are providing a charged service to their customers, so they should really be protecting their enclosures. Why has that security level not been so readily taken into the outside world, into the unprotected environment? More sobering, if you contrast this security approach to the approach taken in the data centre world, an environment that already has multiple stringent security protocols in place, you get a very different picture. For instance, security devices can capture snapshots of anyone who opens a cabinet door in a data room, so it is recorded who has opened that door. While that is just one simple example, it begs the question. Why has that security level not been so readily taken into the outside world, into the unprotected environment? In my mind, a lot of it boils down simply to education. Network connection, easy point of cyber attacks Our preconceived idea about cyber security is some big corporation being knocked out or held to ransom by, again in our mind, someone sitting at a laptop, probably with their hood up over their head, typing away in the darkness, attacking us through the internet. But how the would-be criminal is going to come at us is just like in sport. They attack at the weakest point. Networks can be deployed in the outside world in many ways, such as cameras monitoring the highways. That means those locations will have a network connection. And that can be a point of attack in a non-secure outside world. Enclosures can be broken into by attackers Many people think, ‘That is okay because I’m going to take that ethernet device that my cameras are connected to and I’m going to put it inside an enclosure.’ However, what people do not realize is that the only thing that the enclosure is doing is protecting the ethernet device from Mother Nature. Because, without proper security, those enclosures can be broken into pretty easily. Many of them are just a single key that is not in any way coded to the device. Twofold cyber security People need to realise that cyber security is twofold. It can be carried out by hacking the network or physically breaking Therein lays the problem. People need to realise that cyber security is twofold. It can be carried out by hacking the network or physically breaking into the weakest physical point. And so, a simple boot through the open door of an enclosure can vandalise the devices inside and take down a small or large part of a network. And by definition, this meets the criteria for a cyber-attack. So, how do we go about tackling this problem? Well, security is a reaction marketplace. And for enclosures, there’s not, at present, a plethora of solutions out there for to counter these types of attacks. It can be challenging to find what you’re looking for through a quick Google search compared to searching for more traditional security protection measures. Deploying smart sensors and detectors But, under Vanderbilt and ComNet, we are currently taking our knowledge and experience from system installation and compiling it together. We’re bringing different products from different parts of our business to make a true solution. For instance, we have sensors for enclosures that detect anything from gas or smoke to open doors, detectors that will tell you if someone is trying to smash open your enclosure with a sledgehammer, or that someone is trying to lift your enclosure off of its mount. More importantly, as is not really a one-size-fits-all solution, we have developed a menu structure available that allows customers to pick and choose the ones that will best fit their own requirements.

We have the technology to make society safer – how long can we justify not using it?
We have the technology to make society safer – how long can we justify not using it?

While the application of facial recognition within both public and private spheres continues to draw criticism from those who see it as a threat to civil rights, this technology has become extremely commonplace in the lives of iPhone users. It is so prevalent, in fact, that by 2024 it is predicted that 90% of smartphones will use biometric facial recognition hardware. CCTV surveillance cameras  Similarly, CCTV is a well-established security measure that many of us are familiar with, whether through spotting images displayed on screens in shops, hotels and offices, or noticing cameras on the side of buildings. It is therefore necessary we ask the question of why, when facial recognition is integrated with security surveillance technology, does it become such a source of contention? It is not uncommon for concerns to be voiced against innovation. History has taught us that it is human nature to fear the unknown, especially if it seems that it may change life as we know it. Yet technology is an ever-changing, progressive part of the 21st century and it is important we start to shift the narrative away from privacy threats, to the force for good that LFR (Live Facial Recognition) represents. Live Facial Recognition (LFR) We understand the arguments from those that fear the ethics of AI and the data collection within facial recognition Across recent weeks, we have seen pleas from UK organisations to allow better police access to facial recognition technology in order to fight crime. In the US, there are reports that LAPD is the latest police force to be properly regulating its use of facial recognition to aid criminal investigations, which is certainly a step in the right direction. While it is understandable that society fears technology that they do not yet understand, this lack of knowledge is exactly why the narrative needs to shift. We understand the arguments from those that fear the ethics of AI and the data collection within facial recognition, we respect these anxieties. However, it is time to level the playing field of the facial recognition debate and communicate the plethora of benefits it offers society. Facial recognition technology - A force for good Facial recognition technology has already reached such a level of maturity and sophistication that there are huge opportunities for it to be leveraged as a force for good in real-world scenarios. As well as making society safer and more secure, I would go as far to say that LFR is able to save lives. One usage that could have a dramatic effect on reducing stress in people with mental conditions is the ability for facial recognition to identify those with Alzheimer’s. If an older individual is seemingly confused, lost or distressed, cameras could alert local medical centres or police stations of their identity, condition and where they need to go (a home address or a next of kin contact). Granted, this usage would be one that does incorporate a fair bit of personal data, although this information would only be gathered with consent from each individual. Vulnerable people could volunteer their personal data to local watchlists in order to ensure their safety when out in society, as well as to allow quicker resolutions of typically stressful situations. Tracking and finding missing persons Another possibility for real world positives to be drawn from facial recognition is to leverage the technology to help track or find missing persons, a lost child for instance. The most advanced forms of LFR in the market are now able to recognise individuals even if up to 50% of their face is covered and from challenging or oblique angles. Therefore, there is a significant opportunity not only to return people home safely, more quickly, but also reduce police hours spent on analysing CCTV footage. Rapid scanning of images Facial recognition technology can rapidly scan images for a potential match Facial recognition technology can rapidly scan images for a potential match, as a more reliable and less time-consuming option than the human alternative. Freed-up officers could also then work more proactively on the ground, patrolling their local areas and increasing community safety and security twofold. It is important to understand that these facial recognition solutions should not be applied to every criminal case, and the technology must be used responsibly. However, these opportunities to use LFR as force for good are undeniable.   Debunking the myths One of the central concerns around LFR is the breach of privacy that is associated with ‘watchlists’. There is a common misconception, however, that the data of every individual that passes a camera is processed and then stored. The reality is that watch lists are compiled with focus on known criminals, while the general public can continue life as normal. The very best facial recognition will effectively view a stream of blurred faces, until it detects one that it has been programmed to recognise. For example, an individual that has previously shoplifted from a local supermarket may have their biometric data stored, so when they return to that location the employees are alerted to a risk of further crimes being committed. Considering that the cost of crime prevention to retailers in recent years has been around £1 billion, which therefore impacts consumer prices and employee wages, security measures to tackle this issue are very much in the public interest. Most importantly, the average citizen has no need to fear being ‘followed’ by LFR cameras. If data is stored, it is for a maximum of 0.6 seconds before being deleted. Privacy Privacy is ingrained in facial recognition solutions, yet it seems the debate often ignores this side of the story Privacy is ingrained in facial recognition solutions, yet it seems the debate often ignores this side of the story. It is essential we spend more time and effort communicating exactly why watchlists are made, who they are made for and how they are being used, if we want to de-bunk myths and change the narrative. As science and technology professionals, heading up this exciting innovation, we must put transparency and accountability at the centre of what we do. Tony Porter, former Surveillance Camera Commissioner and current CPO at Corsight AI, has previously worked on developing processes that audit and review watch lists. Such restrictions are imperative in order for AI and LFR to be used legally, as well as ethically and responsibly. Biometrics, mask detection and contactless payments Nevertheless, the risks do not outweigh the benefits. Facial recognition should and can be used for good in so many more ways than listed above, including biometric, contactless payments, detecting whether an individual is wearing a facemask and is therefore, safe to enter a building, identifying a domestic abuse perpetrator returning to the scene of a crime and alerting police. There are even opportunities for good that we have not thought of yet. It is therefore not only a waste not to use this technology where we can, prioritising making society a safer place, it is immoral to stand by and let crimes continue while we have effective, reliable mitigation solutions.  

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