When we think of security and surveillance cameras, the first thought is “Big Brother is watching.” After all, no one likes to be watched 24/7. Despite widespread distrust towards surveillance, one thing is clear: we need surveillance to stay safe. Without effective surveillance solutions, we face blind spots when it comes to safety and security. 

The utility of security cameras to ensure safety is undeniable. Even homeowners are installing surveillance cameras, such as the Ring, to enhance their home safety. In 2019, the surveillance camera market size was 23.6 Billion and it is estimated that this number will balloon to 44 Billion by 2025. Clearly, surveillance cameras are here to stay.

The rise of video analytics 

Today, with the rise of AI and data analytics, surveillance cameras are being transformed into smart cameras. This means that they are no longer only used to record a certain area. AI-enabled video analytics can give users never seen insights. For example, Camio can detect tailgating using existing cameras while Intelli-Vision can detect crowding. Use cases for AI video analytics are endless. However, there are several problems first with the use of surveillance cameras and second with the use of AI video analytics. 

Security and privacy concerns with video surveillance

In addition to the general dislike of being watched, there is a huge concern regarding security breaches of surveillance cameras. Data breaches by hackers into security systems are alarming to most users. This month alone, 50,000 home cameras were hacked and put online. The risk of data breaches is doubled when the data derived through video analytics is stored on the cloud. 

Added to the risk of security breaches, are increasing concerns regarding the use of surveillance cameras in facial recognition and tracking.  Privacy is a central concern when it comes to AI video analytic solutions. People don't like to be tracked when they walk into a business nor would they want their whereabouts being reported to tech giants. There are also reports of facial recognition horror stories and misuse relating to bias and civil liberty violations. To address some of the privacy concerns, data protection laws, such as the GDPR are making the current approach to video security and surveillance more difficult. 

Current solutions to these problems propose the use of sensors instead of surveillance cameras for insight into occupants. For example, Density and Openspace provide occupant information by using overhead solutions that do not capture faces. However, these solutions do not provide security and require new hardware installation. This creates a cost barrier for businesses who are interested in gaining insights into occupants in their space without additional hardware investment. 

The way forward

There is a clear need for users to continue to receive valuable information through existing surveillance cameras without risking security or infringing on occupant privacy. There are a plethora of solutions in the field that rely on existing video cameras; however, many of these solutions focus on facial recognition and rely on cloud computing. We believe there is a way to use surveillance cameras and AI video analytics without infringing on the privacy of occupants and through a secure process.

Lanthorn.ai does three things to enhance privacy and security:

Face blurring - To avoid the use of our solution for surveillance, our algorithm is trained to blur faces while still detecting essential risk factors. 

Edge processing without the need for the cloud -Our solution can be installed on-premise using Edge computing, which means we do not have access to the video recording or the subsequent data. Reliance on edge also protects data by keeping it off the cloud. 

Anonymized analytics - By providing generalized information, we avoid providing personally identifiable information. The Lanthorn.ai dashboard is built with privacy and security in mind. Security is enhanced as our solution can be customized to only show the dashboard when a user is logged into the same network.

By designing with privacy and security in mind, Lanthorn.ai hopes to bring AI-enabled video analytics to users while addressing current issues with video surveillance and AI. 

For more information on how video analytics can help provide insights into your business, contact us at sales@lanthorn.ai

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