The introduction of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), and more latterly the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA), have led to increasing challenges placed upon data security professionals , particularly when releasing video footage from CCTV to members of the public as a result of a subject access requests (SARs).
Under GDPR, and CCPA, when responding to a SAR from an individual, organisations have the legal responsibility to protect the identity of anyone else that may appear within. This can be done through redaction, a process that obscures or ‘blurs’ the appearance of others, so that they cannot be recognised . This white paper will explore which platform provides the most suitable video redaction solution for organisations; Ocucon Pixelate or Genetec Clearance.
In order to provide a valid comparison, we have conducted a feature and cost evaluation of both products. It was discovered that Genetec Clearance is a high cost solution, whilst Ocucon Pixelate provides better value for money for organisations looking for an effective solution for video redaction.
Technology has transformed our modern day lives in unimaginable ways, primarily driven by the rapid expansion of tech giants and their processing of personal data. However, until recently, the 1995 Data Protection Directive was the only legislation that determined how this data was to be processed within EU member states. The 1995 directive became enacted within the 1998 Data Protection Act for the UK and was adopted when the internet was in its infancy, it even pre-dated the launch of Google, social media and smartphones. A review of the rules was therefore clearly needed to catch-up with technological developments, which led to the recent introduction of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).
GDPR not only replaced the 1995 Data Protection Directive but also gave regulators the power to impose significant fines on any business or organisation operating within the European Union for personal data breaches, regardless of whether the data processing takes place in the EU or not. Under GDPR, the UK Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) may impose fines of 20 million Euros or 4% of the total annual worldwide turnover, whichever is higher, for personal data breaches.
Long regarded as a gold standard all over the world, the European Union's data protection laws led to the recent introduction of similar legislation in the United States, through the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA).
Under CCPA, the California attorney general's office can seek $7,500 for each violation , however it also exposes businesses to the risk of class action as highlighted by the case of Hanna Andersson and Salesforce, which was recently settled for $400K . No doubt, other countries will soon follow suit to address the need for protecting personal data and how it is processed by businesses operating within respective territories.
GDPR and CCPA classifies personal data as any information related to an identified or identifiable natural person. To clarify, this includes the telephone, credit card or personnel number of a person, account data, number plate, customer number or address and it also applies to appearance. Under GDPR and CCPA, individuals have the right to perform a subject access request (SAR), this is a Right of Access that allows an individual to obtain records to all of their personal information held by an organisation.
Legislation also specifies that organisations must get back to the individual with the requested information without undue delay, upon receiving a SAR. GDPR allows businesses one calendar month to respond, those complying with CCPA have 45 days.
When responding to a SAR for an individual that includes video footage from surveillance cameras, organisations must obscure or redact others that are identifiable within. Otherwise, they will release personal data of identifiable people to an unauthorised third party, which constitutes a personal data breach under both the General Data Protection Regulation and the California Consumer Privacy Act.
However, there also appears to be confusion on the behalf of organisations as to what a SAR constitutes, potentially driven by the term ‘request’ included within, a point highlighted by a recent fine imposed on H&M for £32m for monitoring their employees in Germany without paying any regard to permissions and consent, along with the ICO receiving almost 6,000 complaints involving companies that had failed to comply with CCTV access requests . Although phrased as a Subject Access Request, it remains a legal obligation for organisations to respond within the time frames specified by respective legislation, whether GDPR or CCPA. It is therefore crucial that loss prevention and data security professionals put in place solutions that allow their respective organisations to comply with regulatory requirements. As a result, they should ensure that they have access to video redaction technology that is quick, cost-effective, and easy to use. However, with numerous solutions available, how can organisations evaluate and select the best redaction software for video?
Current solutions vary in suitability across sectors. This study evaluates Genetec Clearance against Ocucon Pixelate in order to uncover which software solution is most suitable for use by organisations. Genetec Clearance is a digital evidence management system that is also a platform for redacting and sharing video . Ocucon Pixelate harnesses Artificial Intelligence and machine learning to deliver automated video redaction.
We start by evaluating the features of both Genetec Clearance and Ocucon Pixelate.
In a recent test of Genetec Clearance performed by IPVM , the world's leading authority on video surveillance, they discovered that automatic face detection performed best with the following conditions:
- Low Angle of Incidence to the Facial Image
- Close Proximity to the Camera
- Low Density of Faces
- Low Amount of Motion
They report that “face detection almost never worked on faces that were beyond ~20' from the camera and particularly struggled with capturing the side of faces, even when a detected person facing the camera turned their head momentarily.”
Recognising that surveillance footage from retail locations in particular is often busy and dynamic, Ocucon developed Pixelate using AI and Machine Learning to deliver pioneering full body redaction technology. The result is an intuitive web-based software solution, where users simply select the people they do not wish to pixelate before footage is automatically redacted.
It’s evident that Genetec Clearance and Ocucon Pixelate have been developed for easy, secure access. Both products are:
- Web-based, accessible from a web browser
- Suitable for all types of camera footage, including body-worn cameras
- Video is processed in the cloud, saving local workstation/ server resources
Genetec Clearance is only available through Genetec dealers, potentially restricting access for many organisations.
Pixelate is available as a subscription based SaaS product to any business, and features an easy onboarding process.
We performed a cost comparison in order to evaluate which product provides the best value for money video redaction solution (see figure 1).
1. We obtained 12 months of Pixelate user data from a major UK supermarket (with approx. 500 sites), on an annual Pixelate Enterprise subscription package at a cost of £720 plus an add-on for 180 extra minutes at a cost of £459.
2. The supermarket received an average of 12 requests a month.
3. The average length of requested surveillance footage was 3 minutes 46 seconds.
4. In the 12-month period, the supermarket paid a total of £1,179 for all video redaction.
If this supermarket had purchased an annual Genetec Clearance license, they would have paid £7,212 or 7 times more than if they had purchased an annual Pixelate subscription plus add-on minutes.
Genetec Clearance is a useful product for evidence sharing, making it suitable for the law enforcement sector, for instance. It is however a high cost solution as evidenced. An organisation could save 7 times as much money by switching to Ocucon Pixelate.
Pixelate’s pricing model allows users to purchase only the minutes or usage needed, thereby lowering the cost to the user. It has an easy to use interface that requires very little training and is accessed through an on-line subscription. Pixelate delivers high accuracy through harnessing AI, which utilizes a first-of-its-kind, full body redaction algorithm. Setting new standards in surveillance technology, Pixelate by Ocucon is the most intuitive and cost-effective video redaction service on the market. Originally launched in 2018, Pixelate’s innovative software is already used by a number of leading grocery retailers, high-street retail and food chains, local authorities and major transport providers.
Ocucon develops disruptive technology for loss prevention and asset protection professionals, providing innovative customer and market driven software solutions that mitigate risk for organisations.
Pixelate has been recognised as a pioneering shift in the application of digital technology . Ocucon has won numerous awards in the past 2 years, including the top prize at the 2019 RTech Asset Protection Innovation Awards in Denver, Colorado and recently featured in IFSEC Global, reinforcing its market leading position as the best software redaction solution for video .
1. The next phase in video redaction and data protection? IFSEC Global, 23rd October 2020
3. What are the GDPR Fines?
4. Review of the European Data Protection Directive, Sponsored by the Information Commissioner’s Office
5. The California Consumer Privacy Act: Frequently Asked Questions, Baker Law
6. Salesforce, Hanna Andersson Agree to Settle Data Breach Class Action Lawsuit for $400K, Brigette Honaker 23rd November 2020
7. The next phase in video redaction and data protection? IFSEC Global, 23rd October 2020
8. Genetec: “Simplify your digital evidence management”
9. IPVM: “Genetec Clearance Face Detection/ Redaction Test”
10. The next phase in video redaction and data protection? IFSEC Global, 23rd October 2020