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Smart surveillance, is the use of automatic video analysis technologies in video surveillance applications. This week we had to watch some videos about surveillance aspects of Smart Cities. All the mentioned smart surveillance projects have many different applications and great potential but have significant implications regarding security and privacy.

Talking about security implications, the ability to provide real time alerts, capture high value video and provide sophisticated analysis clearly has the potential to enhance security in various public and private facilities. This systems are intended to assist security guards, and will be measured on their ability to improve vigilance and to reduce labor and storage costs. However, the value of the technology is yet to be proven in the field but as more smart surveillance systems get deployed those systems must be analyzed for their effectiveness in detecting important activity events, while generating few false positives (alarms).

About privacy implications, this kind of systems have the ability to monitor video at a level which is a human cannot. This provides the monitoring agencies with a significantly enhanced level of information about the people in the space leading to higher concerns about individual privacy and abuse of sensitive individual information. However, the same smart surveillance technologies are providing novel ways of enhancing privacy in video based systems which was hitherto not possible.

It is difficult to imagine a future where the surveillance of the space is completely automatic, there is clearly an urgent need to improve the existing surveillance technologies with better tools to aid efficacy of the human operators involved in that field. With the increasing availability of the not that expensive computing, video infrastructure and better video analysis technologies, smart surveillance systems will completely replace the existing ones and the degree of smartness will vary with the level of security offered by such systems.




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