CCTV software - Expert commentary

The EU called for a ban on police use of facial recognition but not commercial use. Why?
The EU called for a ban on police use of facial recognition but not commercial use. Why?

Recently, the European Parliament called for a ban on police use of facial recognition. In the US, too, some cities have restricted police use of facial recognition. The first question that comes to mind is - why ban police from using technology that is allowed to private companies? Point of difference The key difference between the way police use facial recognition and the way commercial facial recognition products work is that: The police get a picture of a suspect from a crime scene and want to find out: "Who is the person in the picture?" That requires as wide a database as possible. Optimally - photos and identities of all the people in the world. Commercial facial recognition products such as those used by supermarkets, football stadiums, or casinos answer different questions: "Is the person in the picture on the employees' list? Is the person in the picture on a watch-list of known shoplifters?" To answer these questions doesn't require a broad database but rather a defined list of employees or a watch-list of specific people against whom there is an arrest warrant or a restraining order. Use of facial recognition AnyVision helps organisations leverage facial recognition ethically to identify known persons of interest "Facial Recognition Apps Should Be Provided to the Police with an Empty Database". This is exactly the subject of the open letter sent by AnyVision, to the British Biometrics and Surveillance Camera Commissioner, Prof. Fraser Sampson, titled: "Facial Recognition Apps Should Be Provided to the Police with an Empty Database". AnyVision recently raised $235M from Softbank and another leading VCs is a visual AI platform company that helps organisations across the globe leverage facial recognition ethically to identify known persons of interest, including shoplifters, felons, and security threats. Ethical use of facial recognition AnyVision CEO Avi Golan wrote, "The ethical use of facial recognition is a thorny one and requires a nuanced discussion. Part of that discussion has to explain how facial recognition works, but, just as important, the discussion must also involve how the technology is used by police departments and what checks and balances are built into their processes.” “We recommend building their watchlists from the ground up based on known felons, persons of interest, and missing persons. Some facial recognition solution providers have scrapped billions of photos and identities of people from social networks, usually without their consent." "Unfortunately, this method of facial recognition has justifiably angered privacy groups and data protection agencies around the globe and damaged the public trust in accuracy and reliability of facial recognition systems.” Preventing invasion of citizen’s privacy We believe an unjustified invasion of citizens' privacy can be prevented, false arrests can be reduced" “We believe that lists of suspects should be limited and justified. In this way, unjustified invasion of citizens' privacy can be prevented, false arrests can be reduced and public confidence in technology can be increased.” Golan added: "AnyVision is willing to share its industry insights and best practices from our vast research experience with leading global players, including name-brand retailers, global hospitality and entertainment companies, and law enforcement agencies from around the world.” Balancing public order and crime prevention “If the regulations set forth by Surveillance Camera Code of Practice are committed to the principles outlined above, then law enforcement agencies can strike the right balance between the need to maintain public order and prevent crime with the rights of every person to privacy and non-discrimination before the law." Recently Clearview AI CEO told Wired; the company has scraped 10 billion photos from the web - 3 times more than was previously known.

A three-point plan for enhancing business video surveillance
A three-point plan for enhancing business video surveillance

Cyber threats hit the headlines every day; however digital hazards are only part of the security landscape. In fact, for many organisations - physical rather than virtual security will remain the burning priority. Will Liu, Managing Director of TP-Link UK, explores the three key elements that companies must consider when implementing modern-day business surveillance systems.  1) Protecting more than premises Video surveillance systems are undoubtedly more important than ever before for a huge number of businesses across the full spectrum of public and private sector, manufacturing and service industries. One simple reason for this is the increased use of technology within those businesses. Offices, workshops, and other facilities house a significant amount of valuable and expensive equipment - from computers, and 3D printers to specialised machinery and equipment. As a result, workplaces are now a key target for thieves, and ensuring the protection of such valuable assets is a top priority. A sad reality is that some of those thieves will be employees themselves. Video surveillance system Of course, video surveillance is often deployed to combat that threat alone, but actually, its importance goes beyond theft protection. With opportunist thieves targeting asset-rich sites more regularly, the people who work at these sites are in greater danger too. Effective and efficient surveillance is imperative not just for physical asset protection, but also for the safety From this perspective, effective and efficient surveillance is imperative not just for physical asset protection, but also for the safety of colleagues as well. Organisations need to protect the people who work, learn or attend the premises. A video surveillance system is, therefore, a great starting point for companies looking to deter criminal activity. However, to be sure you put the right system in place to protect your hardware assets, your people, and the business itself, here are three key considerations that make for a successful deployment. 2) Fail to prepare, and then prepare to fail Planning is the key to success, and surveillance systems are no different. Decide in advance the scope of your desired solution. Each site is different and the reality is that every solution is different too. There is no ‘one-size-fits-all solution and only by investing time on the exact specification can you arrive at the most robust and optimal solution.  For example, organisations need to consider all the deployment variables within the system’s environment. What is the balance between indoor and outdoor settings; how exposed to the elements are the outdoor cameras; what IP rating to the need? A discussion with a security installer will help identify the dangerous areas that need to be covered and the associated best sites for camera locations. Camera coverage After determining location and coverage angles, indoors and outdoors, the next step is to make sure the cameras specified are up to the job for each location. Do they have the right lens for the distance they are required to cover, for example? It is not as simple as specifying one type of camera and deploying it everywhere. Devices that can use multiple power sources, Direct Current, or Power over Ethernet well are far more versatile You have to consider technical aspects such as the required level of visual fidelity and whether you also need two-way audio at certain locations? Another simple consideration is how the devices are powered. Devices that can use multiple power sources, Direct Current or Power over Ethernet as well are far more versatile and reliable. Answers to these questions and a lot more need to be uncovered by an expert, to deliver a best-of-breed solution for the particular site. 3) Flexibility breeds resilience Understanding exactly what you need is the start. Ensuring you can install, operate and manage your video surveillance system is the next step. Solutions that are simple to install and easy to maintain will always be favoured - for example, cameras that have multiple sources of power can be vital for year-round reliability. Alongside the physical aspect of any installation, there is also the software element that needs to be considered. The last thing organisations need is a compatibility headache once all their cameras and monitoring stations are in place. Selecting cameras and equipment with the flexibility to support a variety of different operating systems and software is important not just for the days following the installation, but also to future-proof the solution against change.  Easy does it Once the system is up and running, the real work of video surveillance begins. Therefore, any organisation considering deploying a system should look to pick one that makes the day-to-day operation as easy as possible to manage. And again - that is all about the set-up. Cameras can also provide alerts if they have been tampered with or their settings changed The most modern systems and technology can deliver surveillance systems that offer smarter detection, enhanced activity reporting so you learn more about your operations, and also make off-site, remote management easy to both implement and adjust as conditions change. For example, camera software that immediately notifies controllers when certain parameters are met - like motion detection that monitors a specific area for unauthorised access. Cameras can also provide alerts if they have been tampered with or their settings changed without proper authorisation. Remote management of HD footage What’s more, the days of poor quality or unreliable transfer of video are long gone. The high-quality HD footage can be captured, stored, and transferred across networks without any degradation, with hard drives or cloud-based systems able to keep hundreds of days of high-quality recordings for analysis of historical data. Finally, the best surveillance solutions also allow for secure remote management not just from a central control room, but also from personal devices and mobile apps. All this delivers ‘always-on’ security and peace of mind. The watchword in security Modern video surveillance takes organisational security to the next level. It protects physical assets, ensures workplace and workforce safety, and helps protect the operations, reputation, and profitability of a business.  However, this is not just an ‘off-the-shelf purchase’. It requires proper planning in the form of site surveys, equipment and software specifications, as well as an understanding of operational demands and requirements. Investing time in planning will help businesses realise the best dividends in terms of protection. Ultimately, that means organisations should seek to collaborate with vendors who offer site surveys - they know their equipment best, your needs, and can work with you to create the perfect solution.

Get the most from investments in building security
Get the most from investments in building security

From analogue to digital, from stand-alone to interlinked, building systems are in a state of transition. Moreover, the rate of change shows no sign of slowing, which can make it difficult to keep up to date with all the latest developments. If asked to pinpoint the single biggest driver of this revolution, one could point out the growing clamour for platform convergence. A security guard in a building doesn’t want to use different systems to check video cameras, fire alarms or if someone has entered a restricted area: – it simply isn’t efficient. For similar reasons, a building manager wants a single interface to control heating and lighting to match fluctuating occupancy levels, particularly in a hybrid working model. Applying the digital glue The demand from end-users for system convergence is growing, but to achieve full interoperability you still need to apply some ‘digital glue’ and that requires expertise. Yet bringing together disparate systems from different manufacturers can be problematic. Just as you get things to work, someone upgrades their solution and your carefully implemented convergence can start to come unstuck. Managing an implementation can quickly become more complicated, today’s quick-fix can become tomorrow’s headache This is one of the principal issues with all types of new technology; not everyone will choose the same path to reach the desired goal – it’s the old VHS/Betamax argument updated for building management and security systems. Managing and maintaining an implementation can quickly become more complicated than it first appears and without proper oversight, today’s quick-fix can become tomorrow’s technical headache. Effective support for a hybrid workforce Today’s hybrid workforce is a response to the pandemic that looks set to become an established part of working life for many companies across the world. Security systems have a massive role to play in facilitating this transformation that goes beyond simple intrusion detection, access control, and video monitoring. They can identify the most densely populated areas in a building to comply with social distancing guidelines and provide efficient use of space. The insights gathered from a security system can also be used to identify patterns of behaviour, which can then be used for planning and directing the use of building space to help create the best possible working environment while also minimising heating, lighting, and air conditioning expenditures. Identity credentials can help manage compliance with industry regulations by limiting access to certain areas Similarly, identity credentials – either biometric or mobile-based – can help manage compliance to industry regulations by limiting access to certain areas only to approved employees. Creating and maintaining the appropriate level of functionality requires a combination of innovative solutions and industry experience. The complete security package It’s not just physical security that’s important – cybersecurity is a major focus, too. Bringing together both the physical security and cybersecurity realms is increasingly becoming a ‘must have’ capability. What is evident is that the pace of technological change is faster than ever. Today’s functionality simply wouldn’t have been possible just a few years ago, while today’s leading-edge developments may seem commonplace in five years.

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Dahua TechMonth features WizMind and 3 practical monitoring applications of human-based video metadata
Dahua TechMonth features WizMind and 3 practical monitoring applications of human-based video metadata

In a surveillance monitoring context, video metadata refers to the structured details that the user can extract from given video footage. It is data that provides information about other data – a “data about data” in short. Human-based video metadata, as its name suggests, are data derived from human targets in the monitored scene. It can be utilised based on user’s requirements to significantly enhance the management and operation of various application scenarios, while carefully maintaining people’s privacy at the same time. To give some insights into its practical usage, here are three conventional applications of human-based video metadata to adopt based during monitoring needs: 1) Searching targets One of the most common applications of human-based video metadata is for target searching after an event. Intelligent surveillance devices, such as the Dahua WizMind products, offer a Quick Target Search function that can locate suspects in time using their physical attributes. Irrelevant targets in the captured images are filtered out by the back-end devices (IVSS, NVR) or by the platform Target attributes include beard, glasses, mask, hat, etc., which are continuously being developed and increased to meet the requirements of various application scenarios. Irrelevant targets in the captured images are also filtered out by the back-end devices (IVSS, NVR) or by the platform. It can capture up to 640* targets (with attributes) per second with an impressive detection rate of 98%*. Generating statistics In addition, another useful application of human-based video metadata technology is for target statistics. WizMind counts in real time the human targets in the monitored scene and filters them based on target category and direction. The directions include A>B, B>A, or A<>B. And to top it up, it can also generate reports by year, month, and day. It can capture up to 96** objects per frame, providing a detection rate of 98%** and an accuracy rate of 96%**. 2) Detect PPE wearing WizMind can detect wearing PPEs in construction sites including safety hats, protective vests, face masks, and glasses Wearing personal protective equipment or PPE is a must on any construction site. Depending on the scope of the project, monitoring the proper wearing of PPEs on the site could be a tough challenge to implement. The latest PPE Detection Technology of Dahua WizMind can detect wearing of commonly used PPEs in construction sites including safety hats, protective vests, face masks, and glasses. It can even detect the colour of the uniforms (top and bottom) of workers. When a violation has been detected, the site supervisor or manager can be notified via the DMSS mobile app. Similar to target searching and statistics functions, it also offers a detection rate of 98%**, with an accuracy rate of 96%**. 3) Aid city road planning Who would have thought that aside from vehicle-related data, statistics related to people on the street can also be useful in planning city roads? By collecting attributes of pedestrians, directions, and periods, local road planning departments can design better roads tailored for road users and commuters. One good example is the Dahua solution developed for a local organisation in Ireland. Aside from motor vehicles and non-motor vehicles, metadata of pedestrians are also captured on main city roads and streets around plazas. These data are then securely transferred to an SFTP server for further data analysis. The data summary is relayed to the local transportation department to help them plan and manage streets more efficiently. Key Takeaways Human-based video metadata can be effectively utilised to optimise the monitoring operation of various application scenarios. Metadata based on human targets can be used to search suspects after an event, and to generate accurate statistics of the people in the monitored scene. Also, these structured data can be used to detect proper wearing of PPEs in a particular site, and help local transportation departments in planning and maintaining city roads to benefit the general public.

Dahua Technology shows how intelligent cameras enhance safety in nursing homes
Dahua Technology shows how intelligent cameras enhance safety in nursing homes

Patient falls in nursing homes are a serious problem. In the United States, for example, around 1,800 elderly people, living in nursing facilities, die each year from injuries related to falls, according to the Nursing Home Abuse Center. Those patients who survive their injuries often have a reduced quality of life and suffer some form of permanent disability. Rise in nursing home patient falls Figures show that between 50% and 75% of nursing home residents suffer falls each year, twice the chances of falling when compared to seniors who live in a regular residential community. It has been a prevalent challenge to detect falls quickly and effectively, especially when these occur in residents’ bedrooms. In the United Kingdom, the Care Quality Commission has recognised that the use of CCTV may be one of the best ways to ensure safety and quality of care. However, using video surveillance also brings into question other security issues, such as privacy and data protection. Dahua’s WizMind technologies WizMind embraces human-based AI (Artificial Intelligence), for a whole host of applications across verticals This is where Dahua Technology’s WizMind technologies come into play. WizMind embraces human-based AI (Artificial Intelligence), for a whole host of applications across verticals, such as retail, energy, finance, transportation and of course, health and social care. Specific to the health and social care sector are deep-learning algorithms, to protect the privacy of the face and body in real-time, and stereo analysis, which combines dual-lens cameras with three-dimensional scene analysis, in order to detect sudden physical movement, such as falls. Stereo video analysis The growth of AI applications has enabled the greater availability of 3D scene analysis solutions, thereby enabling objects and people to be analysed in three dimensions. Dahua Technology’s stereo analysis uses two lenses, in order to capture separate images of the same scene. It then computes the ‘optical parallax’ of spatial points in the two images, providing 3D information of the scene. The stereo vision mimics the depth of view that comes from humans having two eyes, known as binocular vision. Combined with deep-learning algorithm Combined with a deep-learning algorithm, stereo analysis can recognise event patterns, such as falls and other movement-based behaviours, such as people approaching, the detection of an abnormal number of people in an area, and violent behaviour. In nursing and care homes, stereo analysis cameras can help staff monitor residents, in case of emergency and respond to residents’ problems, such as tripping and falls. The cameras can view all three dimensions of subjects and together with its deep-learning algorithm, can immediately alert staff to any unusual or sudden movement, such as would be evident in a fall. Cameras in communal areas and bedrooms With cameras situated both in communal areas and in bedrooms, the staff is able to respond quickly to incidents With cameras situated both in communal areas and in bedrooms, the staff is able to respond quickly to incidents, which may otherwise stay undiscovered for hours. An example of such a scenario is a nursing home in Singapore, which has a capacity of around 400 beds and is divided into 14 separate living environments, with each designed to be a home-like living area. Dahua cameras with intelligent fall detection technology Dahua cameras, such as IPC-HDW8341X-BV-3D with intelligent fall detection technology were installed, including the provision of 167 stereo analysis cameras inside each bedroom. These trigger an alarm, in the case of incidents, such as a fall, allowing immediate response by staff. Not only does this enhance the well-being and safety of residents, but it also can reduce the nursing home’s labour costs. In addition, Stereo Analysis can also be applied in other application scenarios. An underground unmanned bicycle parking garage in Amsterdam, for instance, has installed Dahua Technology’s behaviour analysis cameras, to detect abnormal events and prevent accidents, such as people tripping and falling, or suspicious individuals wandering around the area. Privacy Protection 2.0 technology While monitoring their situation inside the nursing home, Dahua also adopts Privacy Protection 2.0 technology that features masking of human face and body, to protect the residents’ privacy. It involves the restriction of what can be seen in video images and applies equally to live, and recorded images. Digital masking takes place on the front-end device (e.g. network camera). Dahua’s Privacy Protection 2.0 provides real-time occlusion of the body and face and enables users to access recorded videos, without having to overlay faces with mosaic masks. It also offers additional occlusion options, such as irregular polygons, mosaics and coloured blocks, and allows code exporting based on specified targets, ensuring the privacy of subjects. Privacy and security in evidence collection Stereo video analysis and privacy protection come into their own in nursing homes and healthcare facilities Benefits offered include non-pixelated human targets, allowing for privacy and security in evidence collection. The technology also allows for face and human attributes analysis, without breaching people’s privacy, making it ideal for nursing homes. Stereo video analysis and privacy protection come into their own in nursing homes and healthcare facilities. It allows the close monitoring of residents or patients to help ensure their well-being and safety, while at the same time protecting the privacy of often vulnerable individuals. Dahua TechMonth As part of the Dahua TechMonth, this blog highlights how Dahua’s stereo analysis technology, combined with privacy protection, can provide a valuable tool to help staff respond to incidents quickly and efficiently, including falls, without infringing on people’s data protection rights. In the next blog, Dahua Technology will be discussing the WizMind application of human metadata, enabling users to maximise situational awareness and analysis of events. 

Dahua Technology and Yeastar announce their new ECO partnership on PBX-Intercom integration
Dahua Technology and Yeastar announce their new ECO partnership on PBX-Intercom integration

Dahua Technology, a video-centric smart IoT solution and service provider, and Yeastar, the provider of SME PBX systems, jointly announce their new ECO partnership on PBX-Intercom integration. The two top-notched companies aim to provide a comprehensive and unified communication solution for Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs), allowing mutual customers to benefit from visual intercom, remote access control, integrated video conferencing, instant messaging, file sharing, multi-client management, easy configuration, as well as many other advanced features and communication experience. Remote intercom communications Since its first launch in June 2020, the Dahua Eco Partner Program (DEPP) has integrated with more than 80 companies in the industry. “It’s great to have Yeastar in our Eco Partner Program. Dahua has been committed to building a smart ecosystem together with global technology partners and looking forward to creating joint value for customers through integrated solutions,” says Peter Pan, Dahua Global Technology Partner Alliance Director. Dahua has been committed to building a smart ecosystem together with global technology partners" The seamless interoperability of Dahua’s intercom devices (DHI-VTO2201F-P, DHI-VTH2421FB/FW) and Yeastar P-Series PBX System (P550, P560, P570) has been proven after a series of tests and certifications, making it ideal for remote intercom communications and public access control in various industries, such as office buildings, airports, hospitals, schools, etc. Better smart technology In simple terms, with the PBX-Intercom integration, SME customers can: Control the intercom system remotely anytime from any Yeastar PBX extension; See who is at the front door and converse easily via the IP Video Phone or Yeastar Linkus Web Client; Screen visitors at entrances, car parks and security barriers; Automatically forward door phone calls to mobile number or Linkus Mobile Client when not answered. “We are now glad to join hands with Dahua Technology to help our mutual customers streamline operations and improve working efficiency with easy deployment and all-inclusive features. ECO partnership is also in line with our common value pursuit - create more and better smart technology products & solutions - and keeping with our national innovation-led technology aspiration,” said Prince Cai, Vice President of Yeastar.

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