Ocucon to use AI Tech to Protect People’s Identities on CCTV

Ocucon to use AI Tech to Protect People’s Identities on CCTV
A new piece of software that will protect people’s data by pixelating faces recorded on CCTV footage has been unveiled by a Newcastle security firm. Video storage company Ocucon has developed Pixelate, a piece of software that will protect the identity of members of the public recorded by security cameras.

The technology is being developed in response to the new General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which will soon grant people the right to request copies of CCTV footage they appear in free of charge.

The new laws also require the identity of others in the footage to be concealed, which takes a great deal of time and is expensive to carry out.

Gary Trotter, co-founder of Ocucon, said: “Under the Data Protection Act as it stands people have a right to ask for CCTV footage, but the owner has the right to charge and decline access to the footage if there are third parties involved. “Under GDPR there are three major changes to that. One, there is no longer the right to charge. Two, there is no longer the right to deny access. And three, it is the data controller’s responsibility to protect the identity of people in the footage through pixelation or redaction.”

“We have developed a solution we are trialling that uses artificial intelligence and machine learning, that uploads the image to the cloud and allows you to pick which faces you want to pixelate and it sends it back to you.”

Ocucon is expecting requests for CCTV footage to greatly increase after the introduction of GDPR, which could prove extremely costly for businesses. Ocucon’s software, which has been developed in partnership with Google, promises to lower the cost involved in redacting video footage substantially.

Mr Trotter added: “What we can say is we will be reducing people’s costs by between 80% and 90%. We are not creating a race to the bottom but these are huge savings.”

The technology may prove vital for companies which record large numbers of people on security cameras, such as supermarkets, retailers and police forces. Companies that reveal identifying data could be fined up to €20m or 4% of their annual global turnover.

Ocucon is unveiling Pixelate at the Retail Risk conference which is being held in London.