Saturday, 18 July 2009

CCTV – innocent faces blurred for privacy

New Scientist reports on CCTV technology by American corporation 3VR that :

“uses 3VR's recently patented face-recognition algorithms to home in on known [searched for] faces in crowds. An image-scrambling algorithm then blurs the faces and bodies of those who are not of interest and encrypts the blur pattern so that no one but the operator of the technology can unscramble it”.

See the New Scientist article for a photo showing what it would look like.

The article also observes that even scrambled footage may be abused (the operator can still unscramble it, operators may be bribed etc), and quotes Mike Lynch of search software company Autonomy commenting that it would be safer to record only when the software detects something suspect.

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