Security cameras ... interpret the world


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ceetee
February 25, 2007, 06:06 PM
I've never actually seen the desire to intrude on a person's privacy espoused to thoroughly, directly. and with such an utter lack of shame...


By STEPHEN MANNING
Associated Press Writer
Posted February 25 2007, 1:36 PM EST

COLLEGE PARK, Md.--The next time you walk by a shop window, take a glance at your reflection. How much do you swing your arms? Is the weight of your bag causing you to hunch over? Do you still have a bit of that 1970s disco strut left?

Look around _ You might not be the only one watching. The never-blinking surveillance cameras, rapidly becoming a part of daily life in public and even private places, may be sizing you up as well. And they may soon get a lot smarter.

Researchers and security companies are developing cameras that not only watch the world but also interpret what they see. Soon, some cameras may be able to find unattended bags at airports, guess your height or analyze the way you walk to see if you are hiding something...

snip


...``Law enforcement people in this country are realizing they can use video surveillance to be in a lot of places at one time,'' said Roy Bordes, who runs an Orlando, Fla.-based security consulting company. He also is a council vice president with ASIS International, a Washington-based organization for security officials...

snip

A student walked into the middle of the room, dropped a laptop case, then walked away. On the laptop screen, a green box popped up around him as he moved into view, then a second focused on the case when it was dropped. After a few seconds, the box around the case went red, signaling an alert.

In another video, a car pulled into a parking lot and the driver got out, a box springing up around him. It moved with the driver as he went from car to car, looking in the windows instead of heading into the building.

In both cases, the camera knew what was normal _ the layout of the room with the suspicious bag and the location of the office door and parking spots in the parking lot. Alerts were triggered when the unknown bag was added and when the driver didn't go directly into the building after parking his car.




I find this part the scariest of all:

Still, industry officials say the technology needs to improve before it can be widely used. There are liability issues, such as if someone is wrongly tagged as a threat at an airport and misses a flight, said Bordes. Troha warns humans are still essential to intelligent video, to tell, for example, if a person in a restricted area is a danger or just lost.

And the cameras can only see so much _ they can't stop some threats, like a bomber with explosives in a backpack.

They can't see what you are wearing under your jacket _ yet.

``That is an eventual goal, but we're not there yet,'' said Chellappa.

The "eventual goal" is to have a society where there are no secrets. There is no privacy. Computers will have access to your every movement, and they'll even be able to see through your clothing. And anything the computer sees will be available for sale on the internet... Almost makes me want to go live in a cave somewhere...

Link to story (http://www.sun-sentinel.com/news/local/southflorida/sfl-0225securitycameras,0,6196531.story?coll=sfla-home-headlines)

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Ned Flangers
February 25, 2007, 08:02 PM
My guess is we'll all be relegated to walking and driving while looking like the una-bomber?:barf:

mbt2001
February 26, 2007, 09:53 AM
And the cameras can only see so much _ they can't stop some threats

Uhhh... Cameras cannot stop any threats... What kind of idiotic statement is that? People believe that crap... That somehow having a red light cam or something will stop accidents. How? Do cameras have some kind of special power? Obviously not.

Zero_DgZ
February 26, 2007, 10:21 AM
Pfft. Every single one of these problems can be solved by a teenaged punk and a 20 dollar HERF gun made from a busted microwave and a motorcycle battery.

sheep
February 26, 2007, 12:42 PM
I am suprised that there are not more respones to this post. I have seen this technology in action and watching the program on Discovery made the future sound like a mix between heaven and hell. Heaven for those who do not want any freedom and hell for those of us willing to accept responsibility for our choices.
With a camera that can see anything you are concealing under clothing there would be no "concealed is concealed" attitude. Officers would be sent out to pedestrians carrying the weapons and asked for identification, permits, intent.. etc. There is a lot to fear here and in public areas there is not much that can be done. This would go far past "protection" from bombs and weapons into flagging people based on behavior which should be done only by the citizens and police on foot. Hell if the program becomes relitively accurate would it be okay for a federal police officer to shoot first and ask questions later? I bet that the company selling this crap will say so along with many Americans.

Just for fun if you imagine a society run by and governed entirely by the rules of the Bible - that camera might catch you (identified from the RFID in your future ID card) looking down someone's blouse - and then you get a nice little fine deducted from your federally processed pay check, a referal to one of those human resource sell outs etc.

A majority would be in favor of crap like this in public because it will be easy to sell to worried parents to "prevent" abductions and when it comes to fear mongering - the feds in bed with the companies producing these products won't hold back.

carlrodd
February 26, 2007, 12:55 PM
Just for fun if you imagine a society run by and governed entirely by the rules of the Bible - that camera might catch you (identified from the RFID in your future ID card) looking down someone's blouse - and then you get a nice little fine deducted from your federally processed pay check, a referal to one of those human resource sell outs etc. -sheep

uh...i don't think any of our rules will be drawn from the bible. i don't see a theocratic authoritarian state on the rise; i see clinically amoral police state, where the regular joes are have ready to access to crap tv, chemicals and porn, but are almost happy to have every other aspect of thought and movement dictated by the government. meanwhile, for the criminal element, it will be business as usual. you don't keep the masses in check by taking away their fun and base distractions; you give those to them in abundance and snatch away the important things...like the freedom to think freely, express themselves, question, dissent, defend etc.

Numinous
February 26, 2007, 12:58 PM
The notion of being able to tell when someone is concealing something is science fiction right now and is a hell of a long way off from being a reality. When you factor in that people are carrying more things on their belts like ipods and cell phones it makes it impossible to determine what is a gun and what is an ipod.

The idea behind intelligent video is to provide actionable intelligence for personal who are responsible for security. An airport can easily be acres of area and when you factor in the studies that have shown a person watching video stops noticing things in as little as 20 minutes it becomes reasonable to utilize technology to help with things like perimeter security. There is always a human factor. It's not like the camera is flagging someone and it sends the swat team after them automatically. There is always a human involved to review camera footage and make the call if further action needs to happen.

Why should flagging happen only by people on foot? How is that a good use of resources?

ceetee
February 26, 2007, 01:57 PM
At the University of Maryland, engineering professor Rama Chellappa and a team of graduate students have worked on systems that can identify a person's unique gait or analyze the way someone walks to determine if they are a threat.

A camera trained to look for people on a watch list, for example, could combine their unique walk with facial-recognition tools to make an identification. A person carrying a heavy load under a jacket would walk differently than someone unencumbered _ which could help identify a person hiding a weapon. The system could even estimate someone's height.

Personally, I don't want my height, weight, facial map, and gait to be data in a government database somewhere. I don't want to be identified everytime I walk through a door, or pass a red light. I'm already ID'd every time I run my card through the gas pump. Even though it's distasteful, I put up with it for the convenience of being able to get on my way a tad quicker. If I ever feel that being ID'd that way is too onerous, I have the choice to pay with cash. It's MY choice. If I'm identified via electronic surveillance every time I pass a red light, then what choice do I have? I can't even stop driving, because no matter what, I still have to pass that light.

Any freedom lost is a freedom that will never be regained.

Dorryn
February 26, 2007, 03:40 PM
If this sort of camera information cataloging ever became widespread, I would consider that a SHTF scenario and react accordingly... I do not need nor want to be continuously watched.

Its a high-tech Nazi-government style authoritarianism, and no way for America to move to.

Professor K
February 26, 2007, 07:10 PM
Pfft. Every single one of these problems can be solved by a teenaged punk and a 20 dollar HERF gun made from a busted microwave and a motorcycle battery.

I will be an hero for our generation, woot.

Zero_DgZ
February 27, 2007, 10:16 AM
You and me both, brother.

Stretchman
February 27, 2007, 10:43 AM
Eventually it will become cost prohibitive.

Would be nice to be able to do all of that. But what meakes you think that even with computers the way they are, and technology at this new level, that anyone really cares? By that time, there'll be millions more people. Imagine having a job somewhere in that, and never doing a thing. Not prodcutive at all. It's a nice what if fantasy.

As it stands right now anything you do on your computer is a traceable event. It just depends solely on whether or not tracing your actions is worth the millions of man hours and time to do it. A lot of things are perceptible. But what size of reactionary force would you need, amd what would they do if everyone was a law abiding citizen? Too may what if questions.

Personally, I think Big Brother is a voyeur and a perve. And not a lot else. Sure, society may work better. But I am kind of betting it won't. And if it does take that general direction, it won't be long until everyone ends up working to support it, and not showing anything in the way of gains. Beaurocracy is mostly dead weight. If it ever comes down to that? Simple. Play dumb.

kludge
February 27, 2007, 01:20 PM
The current crop of "reality" shows and the level of voyeurism we are comfortable with really astounds me. I've been telling my wife this for a few years now.

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