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Face recognition: Privacy concerns and social benefits
Face recognition: Privacy concerns and social benefits

News reports and opinion columns about face recognition are appearing everyday. To some of us, the term sounds overly intrusive. It even makes people shrink back into their seats or shake their head in disgust, picturing a present-day dystopia. Yet to others, face recognition presents technology-enabled realistic opportunities to fight, and win, the battle against crime. What are the facts about face recognition? Which side is right? Well, there is no definitive answer because, as with all powerful tools, it all depends on who uses it. Face recognition can, in fact, be used in an immoral or controversial manner. But, it can also be immensely beneficial in providing a safe and secure atmosphere for those in its presence.  Concerns of facial recognition With the increased facial recognition applications, people’s concerns over the technology continuously appear throughout news channels and social media. Some of the concerns include: Privacy: Alex Perry of Mashable sums up his and most other peoples’ privacy concerns with face recognition technology when he wrote, “The first and most obvious reason why people are unhappy about facial recognition is that it's unpleasant by nature. Increasing government surveillance has been a hot-button issue for many, many years, and tech like Amazon's Rekognition software is only making the dystopian future feel even more real”. Accuracy: People are worried about the possibilities of inaccurate face detection, which could result in wrongful identification or criminalisation. Awareness: Face recognition software allows the user to upload a picture of anyone, regardless of whether that person knows of it. An article posted on The Conversation states, “There is a lack of detailed and specific information as to how facial recognition is actually used. This means that we are not given the opportunity to consent to the recording, analysing and storing of our images in databases. By denying us the opportunity to consent, we are denied choice and control over the use of our own images” Debunking concerns  The concerns with privacy, accuracy, and awareness are all legitimate and valid concerns. However, let us look at the facts and examine the reasons why face recognition, like any other technology, can be responsibly used: Privacy concerns: Unlike the fictional dystopian future where every action, even in one’s own home, is monitored by a centralised authority, the reality is that face recognition technology only helps the security guard monitoring public locations where security cameras are installed. There is fundamentally no difference between a human security guard at the door and an AI-based software in terms of recognising people on watchlist and not recognising those who are not. The only difference is that the AI-based face recognition software can do so at a higher speed and without fatigue. Face recognition software only recognises faces that the user has put in the system, which is not every person on the planet, nor could it ever be. Accuracy concerns: It is true that first-generation face recognition systems have a large margin for error according to studies in 2014. However, as of 2020, the best face recognition systems are now around 99.8% accurate. New AI models are continuously being trained with larger, more relevant, more diverse and less biased datasets. The error margin found in face recognition software today is comparable to that of a person, and it will continue to decrease as we better understand the limitations, train increasingly better AI and deploy AI in more suitable settings. Awareness concerns: While not entirely comforting, the fact is that we are often being watched one way or another on a security camera. Informa showed that in 2014, 245 million cameras were active worldwide, this number jumped to 656 million in 2018 and is projected to nearly double in 2021. Security camera systems, like security guards, are local business and government’s precaution measures to minimise incidents such as shoplifting, car thefts, vandalism and violence. In other words, visitors to locations with security systems have tacitly agreed to the monitoring in exchange for using the service provided by those locations in safety, and visitors are indeed aware of the existence of security cameras. Face recognition software is only another layer of security, and anyone who is not a security threat is unlikely to be registered in the system without explicit consent. The benefits In August 2019, the NYPD used face recognition software to catch a rapist within 24 hours after the incident occurred. In April 2019, the Sichuan Provincial Public Security Department in China, found a 13-year-old girl using face recognition technology. The girl had gone missing in 2009, persuading many people that she would never be found again. Face recognition presents technology-enabled realistic opportunities to fight, and win, the battle against crimeIn the UK, the face recognition system helps Welsh police forces with the detection and prevention of crime. "For police it can help facilitate the identification process and it can reduce it to minutes and seconds," says Alexeis Garcia-Perez, a researcher on cybersecurity management at Coventry University. "They can identify someone in a short amount of time and in doing that they can minimise false arrests and other issues that the public will not see in a very positive way". In fact, nearly 60% Americans polled in 2019 accept the use of face recognition by law enforcement to enhance public safety. Forbes magazine states that “When people know they are being watched, they are less likely to commit crimes so the possibility of facial recognition technology being used could deter crime”. Saving time  One thing that all AI functions have been proven to achieve better results than manual security is speed. NBC News writes, “Nearly instantaneously, the program gives a list of potential matches loaded with information that can help him confirm the identity of the people he’s stopped - and whether they have any outstanding warrants. Previously, he’d have to let the person go or bring them in to be fingerprinted”. Facial recognition can also be immensely beneficial in providing a safe and secure atmosphere for those in its presence With AI, instead of spending hours or days to sift through terabytes of video data, the security staff can locate a suspect within seconds. This time-saving benefit is essential to the overall security of any institution, for in most security threat situations, time is of the utmost importance. Another way in which the technology saves time is its ability to enable employees (but not visitors) to open doors to their office in real time with no badge, alleviating the bottleneck of forgotten badge, keycode or password. Saving money A truly high-performance AI software helps save money in many ways. First, if the face recognition software works with your pre-existing camera system, there is no need to replace cameras, hence saving cost on infrastructure. Second, AI alleviates much of the required manual security monitoring 24/7, as the technology will detect people of interest and automatically and timely alert the authorities. Third, by enhancing access authentication, employees save time and can maximise productivity in more important processes. The takeaway AI-enabled face recognition technology has a lot of benefits if used correctly. Can it be abused? Yes, like all tools that mankind has made from antiquity. Should it be deployed? The evidence indicates that the many benefits of this complex feature outweigh the small chance for abuse of power. It is not only a step in the right direction for the security industry but also for the overall impact on daily lives. It helps to make the world a safer place. 

How intelligent video surveillance supports smart mobility
How intelligent video surveillance supports smart mobility

The ease of getting from point A to point B, the effective movement of goods and services, and the flexibility and integration of various modes of transportation are key aspects of mobility today. Smart Mobility has been a key theme in the transportation industry for a while. The idea is to keep traffic flowing and help people to get where they need to be, in a smarter way. To this end, industry players are now innovating and introducing advanced technologies and solutions. Examples include intelligent traffic management systems, free-flow tolls, autonomous driving, smart location solutions, and more. At the same time, traffic congestion, aging infrastructure, rapid urbanisation, and increasing sustainability demands are also intensifying the need for smart mobility solutions. One way to overcome these obstacles is to use intelligent video surveillance technology for improved traffic management, making the roads safer and more efficient for every user, while also reducing emissions. Perceptive intersections Relying on intelligent video analytics, traffic video cameras identify traffic build ups at intersections by counting numbers of vehicles crossing an intersection and detecting their speed, while also counting the number of vehicles queueing in real-time. Aggregated data informs the system when to switch traffic lights to red or green. Intelligent optimisation for traffic signals ensures more effective traffic flow.Aggregated data informs the system when to switch traffic lights to red or green The benefits? Improved safety on the roadways; intersection reconstruction can be avoided; drivers can be advised about the speed of their route, forecasted by traffic signals; reduced wait times and stress for commuters; reduction of harmful emissions; and positive impact on public satisfaction. Road safety Traffic incidents can be disastrous, not merely for causing congestion on the roads but sometimes far worse – resulting in injuries and even fatalities. These incidents have many causes, not the least of which is drivers willfully violating traffic laws. Video technology can aid in detecting all kinds of events – for example, illegal parking, running a red light, wrong-way driving, speeding, and making illegal U-turns can all be detected by smart camera technology. By using deep learning technology, cameras can recognise these events and traffic authorities can be immediately notified and take necessary actions even before traffic incidents occur. Scenarios include stopping a driver who is occupying an emergency lane, or notifying a driver who parked their car illegally. Furthermore, ticketing systems can be incorporated to further regulate driving behaviors. Benefits here include incident prevention, better driver performance, and increased safety on the roads and streets, to name just a few. Scenarios include stopping a driver who is occupying an emergency lane, or notifying a driver who parked their car illegally Public information Sharing information is key to keeping city drivers and travelers informed. Intelligent communication about warnings and updates helps everyone save time, avoid frustration, and simplify everyday mobility. This can be done via traffic guidance screens displayed at highly visible locationsThis can be done via traffic guidance screens displayed at highly visible locations, such as congested areas, transportation hubs, shopping malls, and city plazas – or even at your fingertips on your favorite mobile apps! Traffic video cameras generate real-time data of traffic flow and incidents, sending it to a central platform to further fuse with data from third-party systems such as radar and GPS systems. They also disseminate traffic information, including traffic status, warning and advisory notices, as well as parking status.  The benefits are improved public awareness of traffic information, improved travel convenience, overall enhancement of mobility in the city, and more. The Hikvision practice Hikvision has accumulated sophisticated experience in traffic management both at home and abroad. Product lines offer versatile solutions to resolve multitudes of problems in urban traffic management, traffic incident management, highway management, and more. Going deeper, it’s essential to note that efficient signal control management is dependent on the quality of traffic data, system algorithms, and the hardware devices in use; it is also closely related to the mobile environment, such as road conditions, historical traffic conditions, and urban infrastructure. Because of this, no single solution solves traffic congestion everywhere. Hikvision believes that only by working closely with city authorities, public safety organisations, consultants, even academia and other relevant stakeholders, can applications and operational processes be developed to achieve the best possible outcomes. The possibilities for traffic video data are endless, especially now that it can employ artificial intelligence for advanced functionality. Harnessing its power will make all the difference, but the ultimate goal remains the same: safe and smooth traffic, smart mobility, and improved quality of human life.

ISC West 2019: what's new in physical security's biggest global tradeshow?
ISC West 2019: what's new in physical security's biggest global tradeshow?

ISC West continues to innovate and adapt to the changing needs of the security marketplace. In 2019, there will be 200 new exhibitors, 100 new speakers and an expanding mix of attendees that includes more end users and international attendees. The International Security Conference & Exposition (ISC West) will be held April 10-12 at the Sands Expo in Las Vegas. Among the more than 200 new exhibitors on the show floor will be Dell Technologies, Resideo, SAST (a Bosch IoT startup), Belkin International, NetApp, Lenovo, Kingston Technology and many others. The event continues to see more and more solutions in the area of IoT/connected security, a surge in barrier/bollards exhibitors, an increased number of start-up companies, and an emphasis this year on stadium/major events security. Plus, the new exhibit area of ISC West, Venetian Ballroom, will include a mix of solutions from mid-sized domestic and international companies, and is the home of the Emerging Technology Zone – back for its second year with 50-plus start-up companies expected.  The International Security Conference & Exposition (ISC West) will be held April 10-12 at the Sands Expo in Las Vegas “ISC West is no longer just about video cameras, access control systems and alarms,” says Will Wise, Group Vice President, Security Portfolio for Reed Exhibitions, which produces and manages ISC West. Embracing and stimulating the market dynamic of comprehensive security for a safer, connected world, solutions on display at the show reflect convergence across physical security, IT (information technology) and OT (operational technology). The ISC West expo floor includes specialised featured areas such Connected Home, Public Safety & Security, Connected Security, Unmanned Security Expo and the Emerging Technology Zone. Plus, complimentary education sessions in the Unmanned Security Expo theatre will include topics such as drones, counter-drone solutions, ground robotics and regulations/policies that support autonomous technology. This year’s event will feature more than 1,000 products and brands covering everything from video surveillance, access control and alarms/alerts, to IoT, IT/cybersecurity convergence, AI, embedded systems, drones and robotics, smart homes, smart cities, public safety and more. The ISC West expo floor includes specialised featured areas such Connected Home and the Emerging Technology Zone  Elevating the Keynote Series  Over the past few years, ISC West has elevated its Keynote Series (open to all attendee types) to include more speakers and dynamic content covering relevant topics. Attendees should be sure to head to the Keynote room Wednesday and Thursday mornings at 8:30 a.m. before the expo floor opens at 10 a.m.  Relating to attendance, ISC West continues to diversify and grow the attendee universe by attracting additional enterprise government end-users across physical and IT/OT responsibilities. The show also continues to attract and grow the channel audience, and there will be an increasing number of International attendees.  “Years ago, ISC West was known exclusively as a dealer/integrator/installer show, but not anymore,” says Wise. “Today, the demographic mix continues to evolve as the event diversifies its product and educational offerings, embracing the current market reality of collaboration among integrators/dealers/installers, end-user decision-makers, and public safety and security professionals.”  When planning for the show, be sure to view the list of special events and take advantage of the additional connection-making opportunities Within the SIA Education@ISC West conference program, there are over 100 new speakers. Through ISC West’s strong partnership with the Security Industry Association (SIA, the Premier Sponsor of ISC), the SIA Education@ISC West program has expanded and become increasingly dynamic and diverse over the last three years. In addition, ISC West and SIA are hosting a Women in Security breakfast on Friday morning April 12th.  Women in Security is a new track for the education program.    “Our attendance data reflects the demand for a mix of physical security integrator and end-user content, a balance of technical and management/strategic topics, and diverse topics incorporating IoT and cybersecurity/physical security convergence, and analytics expertise,” says Wise. “Last year was a record year for conference program attendance, and 2019 will yet again set new benchmarks.” Mobile apps, information desks and ease of registration ISC West is also focusing on the attendee experience. Need advice on what exhibitors are a fit for your business needs and interests? The Information Desk adjacent to the main expo entrance will provide customised recommendations based on the information attendees provided during the registration process.  Attendees can download the official ISC West mobile app and create a MyShow account through the ISC West website Attendees can download the official ISC West mobile app and create a MyShow account through the ISC West website to research exhibitors and product categories, receive exhibitor recommendations that best fit business needs, review complimentary educational opportunities as well as 85-plus sessions from the paid SIA Education@ISC program.  There are many networking opportunities being offered at the show this year. When planning for the show, be sure to view the list of special events and take advantage of the additional connection-making opportunities.  Whether attendees want to network with peers or customers at an awards ceremony (Sammy Awards, Fast 50, New Product Showcase Awards), Charity event (AIREF Golf Classic, Mission 500 Security 5K-2K Run/Walk), or an industry party (SIA Market Leaders Reception, ISC West Customer Appreciation Party at Tao), there are a variety of special events offered, all designed to help you make new connections. Make sure to check out the ISC West website for all the Special Events taking place at ISC West.

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GJD perimeter surveillance technology to be exhibited at Rochdale Online Business exhibition
GJD perimeter surveillance technology to be exhibited at Rochdale Online Business exhibition

GJD will also exhibit Clarius LED illuminators designed to work with CCTV cameras and safety-critical applications GJD, an award winning British manufacturer of intruder detection products and security lighting solutions for the CCTV and security sectors has recently announced its attendance at the Rochdale online business exhibition. The event will take place at Rochdale Town Hall from 4pm until 7pm on the 23rd of September. Meeting point for business owners and general public Neil Hennessy, GJD’s Technical Sales Manager will be on hand to discuss the versatile benefits of the company’s detectors and illuminators. Hennessy commented: “The Rochdale Online annual business event is a fantastic opportunity to meet local businesses owners and the general public from across Rochdale, Heywood and Middleton”. GJD will be showcasing market leading perimeter surveillance technologies including the company’s external D-TECT range of wired and wireless detectors. Offering the very latest quad and dual PIR technology, advanced IP solutions and anti-masking detectors, the D-TECT range can be relied upon for the most demanding security situations. Integration with leading VMS providers Latest additions to the D-TECT range include 4 new IP detectors, which offer seamless integration with major VMS providers and CCTV systems. Bosch VMS, Milestone Xprotect, Mirasys, SeeTec Enterprise and Probox are to name a few of the supported VMS software providers. Supported cameras for direct control include Axis, Bosch, Ernitec, Hikvision and Sony. Others will soon be added. Other state-of-the-art products being showcased include the company’s Clarius® LED illuminators. Available in Infra-Red and White-Light, Clarius® units are specifically designed to work in conjunction with CCTV cameras and safety-critical applications to significantly enhance image quality.

GJD D-TECT IP range of advanced intruder sensing technology
GJD D-TECT IP range of advanced intruder sensing technology

The external perimeter protection industry is continuously evolving to meet dynamic security requirements. GJD, a world leading British security manufacturer of external detector equipment and LED illuminators has quickly adapted to the digital era by creating advanced IP and digital solutions. Suitable for big and small security projects GJD has recently announced its D-TECT IP range, being suitable for both big and small security projects. The advanced intruder sensing technology includes PIR, microwave and anti-masking. Such reliable sensors coupled with IP connectivity makes GJD’s IP range of detectors well suited for intruder monitoring, CCTV surveillance and other alarm warning requirements. Key benefits include increased detector alignment and set up options, genuine alarm capture and exceptional resistance to false or ‘nuisance’ alarms. Another major benefit is remote diagnostic control of the perimeter boundary detection systems. Mark Tibbenham, GJD’s Managing Director commented: “Our new D-TECT IP detectors provide real-time remote access to enable remote monitoring and programming from anywhere and at any time”. Integrates with third party VMS providers The D-TECT IP range integrates with third party VMS providers and CCTV systems. Bosch VMS, Milestone Xprotect, Mirasys, SeeTec Enterprise and Probox are to name a few of the supported VMS software providers. Supported cameras for direct control include Axis, Bosch, Ernitec, Hikvision and Sony. Others will soon be added. All of the IP detectors use Power over Ethernet connectivity providing powerful security solutions, which enable cameras to be instantly directed to the location of intrusion; whilst security personnel are alerted with detailed alarm information. Also offering flexible monitoring, the detectors can be adjusted to suit different customer requirements including adjustable field of view, which helps avoid boundary overspill, saving both energy and costs.

EET Group signs an agreement with Milestone to provide Milestone XProtect IP video offerings
EET Group signs an agreement with Milestone to provide Milestone XProtect IP video offerings

EET Group will now be able to provide Milestone's IP video surveillance software in more countries in Europe Milestone Systems, the open platform company in IP video management software (VMS), and IT distributor EET Group have signed a distribution agreement to provide Milestone XProtect IP video offerings in 16 European countries. EET is already established as a successful distributor of Milestone IP video surveillance software in the Nordics, and with the new agreement the two companies now expand the partnership to cover many more countries in Europe. "Based on our many years of successful collaboration with EET in the Nordic market, it was a natural next step for EET and Milestone to take this proven template to other European markets. EET’s expertise in the IP video surveillance field and harnessing the many advantages of the Milestone open platform will help fuel the rapid growth of transition from analog to IP-based solutions in these regions," says Lawrence de Guzman, Director of Sales Operations at Milestone Systems. The agreement ensures that EET’s dealers in Europe can offer Milestone IP video surveillance software to support the strong, high-end camera brands EET carries, such as Axis, IQinVision, Sony, Pelco, Mobotix, and Ernitec. The distribution includes the following markets: Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Finland, the Netherlands, Germany, France, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Poland, Switzerland, England, Belgium, Austria and Czech Republic. "Our ambition is to become the largest distributor of IP video surveillance in Europe, so I am very excited that we can now support our dealers in Europe with Milestone’s market leading software," says Michael Kragh, Director of Security and Video Surveillance at EET. "Milestone is one of the most well-reputed companies in the industry and our dealers have directly requested that we start selling Milestone open platform software in the rest of Europe. We want to work with the industry’s top manufacturers. Milestone solutions span a full spectrum of needs, and we see a big market for additional products to integrate, such as license plate recognition and Point-of-Sale to prevent loss in retail businesses." Video surveillance accounts for 24 million Euro of EET Group’s annual revenue. Within the next three years EET expects its video surveillance income to reach almost 53 million Euro, with particularly high expectations for strong business in England, Germany and Switzerland.