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Glenn BrouwerJun 7, 2021 4:02:56 PM2 min read

Anonymization is a possible solution for future regulation of mass surveillance

Europe will significantly increase its digital ambitions over the next five years, with a strong focus on ethical requirements. If it were up to the European Commission (EC), Europe will soon be the world's digital leader, as the new strategy “Shaping Europe’s digital future” shows. However, this does not mean that Europe will have to make moral compromises. Two points of attention must ensure that Europe can excel both technologically and ethically, namely AI and data.

That is why the EC published its “Whitepaper on Artificial Intelligence – A European approach to excellence and trust” on 19 February 2020, with the main subject of which rules should be introduced around Artificial Intelligence. According to the white paper, citizens do not trust existing AI and Europe lacks the capability to change this.

New regulations vs. growth surveillance system

In order to excel both technologically and ethically, the EC wants to strongly regulate the use of AI and prevent it from being used in domains that have an excessive impact on the lives of citizens. In April, the EC announced in a letter that they were considering banning some AI applications, including mass surveillance and social credit scoring systems.

On the other hand, there is a growing need for surveillance systems. According to IDC, the growth of video surveillance cameras will be driven by the need for smart camera systems and video analysis applications. As a result, the CCTV camera market will grow to $ 44 billion by 2025 from $ 23.6 billion in 2019, with a five-year compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of nearly 13%.

Anonymizing video images

BrainCreators recognize the concerns of Europe, but also want to meet the needs of society. The company therefore takes a holistic approach and therefore always starts from the principle of what is desirable, rather than what is feasible or possible from a technological perspective.

Based on this principle, BrainCreators recently developed the Automated Recognition & Anonymization (ARA) system. ARA can continuously process the images recorded by video surveillance cameras, detecting people by faces, posture and movement patterns, without identifying those people. Individuals detected by ARA are anonymized with a mask of your choice, such as facial blur or full body masking in each frame.

This excludes any form of identification or profiling and is fully in line with the GDPR regulations and the possible future plans of the EC. In addition, ARA can also be used for people counting, visual inspection of objects and surfaces, making maintenance work and crowd management activities faster and more effective. This allows users to manage the maintenance of assets more efficiently, save costs and better map risks.

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