Companies holding personal information about individuals, whether it’s images or other data not meant for public consumption, are mandated to comply with data protection laws. Facit Data Systems’ business protects people’s privacy and helps companies meet compliance standards.
Serious consideration should be given to the European General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). The new regulation imposing strict rules over sharing personal data took effect on 25 May 2018 – replacing the 1995 data protection directive.
Companies that breach data protection laws in the UK are fined up to £17.5 million or 4% of their global turnover. As a result, businesses must invest in smarter data security solutions to protect their employees, customers, and reputations.
To be compliant, companies need to be able to redact information. Redacting means hiding or removing sensitive data so that footage or documents can be shared without risking a data breach. Video redaction, in particular, is the process of altering a video clip to mask the identity of specific and usually sensitive objects within the video frame. This could include blurring people’s faces, their bodies and license plates; data that can help identify the person in the shot. Video redaction technology enables businesses to manage the redaction process in-house, so they do not have to rely on third parties and potentially expose themselves to data breaches when initially sharing unredacted files.
Based in the UK but with a global presence, Facit Data Systems helps businesses of all scales tackle their redaction challenges. Britain’s largest supermarket giants, leading logistics companies and retailers, as well as the public sector, are successfully utilising Facit technology to support in the continuous task of redacting video. Kings College Hospital’s NHS Foundation Trust’s Head of Security Ian Taylor recently stated, “Identity Cloak automatically redacts individuals, which saves significant time. We are completely satisfied with our choice.’’
Awais Rafique, Lead Software Developer at Facit explains, “Our software integrates seamlessly onto existing CTTV cameras and fits within your current data collection network. In addition, there are generally two other types of technologies in the industry that can support video redaction: hardware-based technologies and cloud support.
“With hardware technologies, businesses often need a more significant financial investment as the hardware will only work on compatible camera systems. This may mean stripping out your existing devices and replacing them with new ones – a costly exercise. It could also lead to extra expenditure to retrain staff on new systems. Once the system is in place, the hardware is a permanent fixture in one’s business; the investment has been made, so if something better comes along, you might not have the agility to swap to it so quickly.
“Conversely, cloud-based options are substantially cheaper than hardware and software options; however, the negative here is around a higher chance of data breaches. This is because users have to upload un-redacted footage in a cloud space, which, depending on the cloud-based platform used, could cause a potential breach of data if their cloud security fails.”
The need to use video redaction concerns businesses globally to meet their local data compliance governance rules. In Europe, rules align with GDPR, whereas elsewhere in other worldwide markets, rules will be distinguished according to local laws. In most established markets, there are rules in place to control data breaches (leaking individuals’ private data such as name, address, telephone number, email address, and personal information held about that person) which is in place to protect people’s safety.
When there are incidents in a company or brand environment, GDPR’s rule is that anyone can request CCTV footage of themselves in that environment. However, the company is responsible for providing that footage within 30 days or risks heavy financial penalties and a potential PR disaster. Video Redaction enables companies to fulfil requests to avoid these repercussions quickly.
Users of Facit technology can decide which elements, such as faces, number plates, etc., should be redacted. Once selected, the software easily and quickly renders the new video clip. You can redact lengthy clips within seconds, so this fast redaction feature has saved businesses a lot of time and operational expenditure.