Avigilon Analytics

 

Avigilon is a Vancouver based security equipment designer and manufacturer, perhaps most well known for the software they have developed to analyze raw video data, with no input other than the pixels streamed through an HD camera setup. “Open Video Management” using what they term “Self-Learning” video analytics is the cornerstone of any modern video analytics solution. The company also manufactures several lines of high quality HD cameras and access control gear, but it is not a requirement that all equipment be from Avigilon. Avigilon analytics is performed on-site with a proprietary set of hardware and software, and is effectively limited only by the quality of the video input.

What does this all mean for the consumer? For the residential market, there is not much application, and most home owners would see the cost as extraordinary, considering the increasingly cheap residential offerings from mainstream security integrators. It is also generally not necessary to run such extensive analytics in a residential setting. What Avigilon’s video analytics are particularly useful for are larger, enterprise-scale security operations, such as car lots, schools, and highly trafficked gates. This is something our company has considerable experience with, both in installing and integrating with other cameras and access control systems, as well as servicing and maintaining this type of equipment.

For example, let’s look at our most popular security solution featuring Avigilon; car dealerships. Avigilon’s analytics recognize a car versus some other object and distinguishes between a person and an animal or some other moving object which is not a security threat. The degree to which any software is actually “self-learning” is certainly up for debate, though the type of software underpinning these analytics systems is similar in structure to the kind of predictive software used by Google, Amazon, or Facebook to predict future purchases and analyze behaviors. The idea is that the software is able to self-code within the limited scope of object detection and threat discernment. This implies that each individual system that is integrated with Avigilon analytics will be slightly different over time for each installation in order to better perform in that particular setting.

Security Technology of South Texas is well versed in customizing analytics solutions to each customer based on their concerns and security needs. As we move into the future, analytics will become a de facto component of any competent access control and video surveillance installation, as it is able to reduce or eliminate false alarms, the traditional bane of functional, digital security.

Security Technology of South Texas is happy to offer custom designed systems such as this from the ground up or integrated into existing infrastructure, where possible. We are available 24/7 at admin@gostst.com  on our website or via phone at 210-446-4863.Avigilon-logo

Sources: Avigilon.com

The Uses and Limits of Amazon’s “Rekogntion” Facial Recognition Software

 

A new test by the ACLU demonstrates these limitations

 

 

 

 

The American Civil Liberties Union recently tested Amazon’s facial recognition tech — and the results were less than favorable. To test the system’s accuracy, the faces of all 535 members of congress were scanned against 25,000 public mugshots, through Amazon’s open Rekognition API. Although none of the members of Congress were in any of these mugshot lineup, Amazon’s system nevertheless generated 28 false matches. The ACLU claims this raises some particularly serious concerns about Rekognition’s use by law enforcement and in the legal and medical world.

 

“An identification — whether accurate or not — could cost people their freedom or even their lives,” the group said in an accompanying statement. “Congress must take these threats seriously, hit the brakes, and enact a moratorium on law enforcement use of face recognition.” (ACLU)

 

According to The Verge, an “Amazon spokesperson attributed the results to poor calibration.” However this does not necessarily account for the results. Amazon’s system currently operates with the default confidence threshold of just 80 percent. Yet Amazon claims it recommends at the very least a 95 percent threshold for situations such as medicine and law enforcement where relying on a machine to ID someone could cost them their freedom, life, or worse.

 

“While 80% confidence is an acceptable threshold for photos of hot dogs, chairs, animals, or other social media use cases,” the representative said, “it wouldn’t be appropriate for identifying individuals with a reasonable level of certainty.” (ACLU) Even still, the Rekognition suite does nothing to affect that recommendation during the process of setting it up, and there is of course little to nothing to prevent law enforcement agencies from using the default setting of 80 percent.

 

In May of this year, this tech came into the limelight when the ACLU report was able to show the system being in use by a number of LEO agencies including the police of Orlando, Florida. It is sold as a part of Amazon’s Web Services cloud, and is quite inexpensive with a costs as low as less than just 12 dollars a month for the entire department.

 

Furthermore, this test demonstrated a continuing problem of many facial recognition systems, which have  historically had considerably difficulty    in accurately identifying both women and non-white minorities. Of the 28 false matches, 11 involved black members of congress, although they make up just around 20  percent of the whole of congress itself. Some other systems fair even worse. With the system used by the London Metro Police force producing as many as 49 false matches for every legitimate hit, which then necessitates a manual and time and resource consuming search though these false-positives.

Ostensibly, facial recognition IDs would be confirmed through multiple human sources before an arrest would be made, though many say that even checking faces violates privacy rights. Worse still, it is not hard to imagine a situation where an officer sees a false match that leads him to believe the potential arrestee could be armed and dangerous, and also plant ideas about the person before even really investigating, changing the outcome of a routine stop from routine, to possibly violent, even deadly.

Security Technology of South Texas works with analytics and facial recognition video surveillance in its projects, and are experts in integrating, understanding, and sourcing only the best tech to get your job done, at a price you can feel good about. Let us show you the difference between a local, responsive, company that strives for only excellence and client satisfaction versus the kind of experience we have all come to expect from the detached, hard to reach, and inferior service and installations inherent to the juggernauts of the security industry.

Please contact us through email at admin@gostst.com on our website or via phone at  210-446-4863   24/7

Sources: ACLcomU, Verge.com,  Amazon.

U.S. Government Bans Government Use of Chinese Surveillance Gear

With the ties that China shares with North Korea, its stance on Taiwan, and its ever increasing trade conflict with the U.S., it comes as no surprise that the U.S. government would want to keep Chinese tech far away from anything they would want to secure. Huawei, a Chinese cell phone company sought to enter the Western market with a capable and good looking phone to rival the flagships of the likes of Apple and Samsung, but Huawei and companies like it have been suspected of inserting malicious code into their products under the direction of Chinese intelligence services.
Recently, a U.S. House resolution banned Chinese surveillance gear “along with OEM gear [that] has been passed and will be sent to the Senate for consideration.” (securitytoday.com)
Many of these companies, such as maker of surveillance equipment Hangzhou Hikvision Digital Technology Co. have large percentages of outright ownership by the Chinese government, 42 percent in this case. Hytera, Huawei and Dahua are also all included in the bill, along with the U.S. government advising civilians to avoid Huawei as well.
Vicky Hartzler (R-MO) and a member of the House Armed Services Committee
described the reasoning bluntly “We must face the reality that the Chinese-government is using every avenue at its disposal to target the United States, including expanding the role of Chinese companies in the U.S. domestic communications and public safety sectors…”
Financial analysts do not expect this to significantly impact U.S. based security firms, and although there is not an outright ban, U.S. companies like ADT may move away from using Chinese equipment.
If  even using a cell phone from China as a civilian is a risk, this seems like, and is a no-brain move. If a company has nearly 50% of its shares held by the Chinese government, it would nearly be safe to call the likes of Hytera (Chinese radio communications) or the Chinese Telecom giant ZTE out as nothing more than thinly disguised extensions of Chinese Intelligence agencies. This is a country that recently rolled out a type of social credit system, whereby you can end up being denied everything from residence in a certain area to travel, even by train, for non-criminal acts. At best, these firms are going to data mine the end user, or more likely, infect him with malware.
Security Technology of South Texas does not use hardware manufactured by companies owned by hostile foreign intelligence but instead uses top of the line gear made either in the U.S. or its allies. Please contact us through email at admin@gostst.com on our website or via phone at  210-446-4863   24/7

Loss Prevention and Evidence Gathering

Geovision’s GV-VMS integrates with existing Windows-based POS consoles. This allows for the transactions made at the POS machines to automatically embed into recorded video and sync with the cloud. Transactions are keyword searchable and suspicious transactions can generate automatic notifications. Read more