Security Business

JUN 2019

Find news and information for the executive corporate security director, CSO, facility manager and assets protection manager on issues of policy, products, incidents, risk management, threat assessments and preparedness.

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38 Security Business / / June 2019 Back to School SECURITY false alarms in scenarios where a tree branch sways in the wind or a husky raccoon scales the fence to get into the dumpster behind the cafeteria. Once a camera learns how to differentiate these harmless distractions from actual intruders, it will only send alerts when security is really at risk. People counting functions enable a camera to carefully track the number of people coming in and out of a particular entrance – or even all entrances – and quickly provide an up-to-the-minute tally in an emergency situation. If there is a situation where the school needs to be evacuated, school administrators can rely on the data from the video surveillance system to tell them how many students entered the school that morning and how many exited the building during the evacuation. Advanced analytics can further support people-counting by keeping track of how many people are supposed to be in a given location and alerting when, for example, the school auditorium is approaching maximum capacity and fire codes might be violated. License plate recognition (LPR) is being used by schools to keep track of authorized vehicles on campus – whether it be making sure that only faculty vehicles are in faculty lots, or identifying which cars are pulling into the lane designated for after-school pickup. When an unauthorized plate is detected, an alert can be sent. This is a great way to make the most of human resources – because a human no longer needs to manually check and reference plates; however, it is obviously only valuable if the LPR is accurate. LPR cameras have a built-in algorithm called Optical Character Recognition (OCR), which helps the camera recognize the plate. For OCR to interpret the plates with high accuracy, the algorithm needs a large data set from which it can learn over time. Other fascinating uses of AI are being rolled out in video surveillance equipment, including a cameras’ ability to discern between humans and vehicles within its field of view, and cameras that can classify human behavior and send alerts when aggression or anger is escalating. These capabilities, like much of the ones described above, are valuable for preventing dangerous or unsafe events from occurring. Deployment Along with all of these new technological abilities comes a concern that is being raised by many school districts – how to implement security without making students and teachers feel like they are being constantly monitored. AI-enhanced technology is intended to operate automatically and, in most cases, in the background, giving security operators more time and freedom to “ignore” the people who are supposed to be at the school and concentrate on strangers and possible threats. It is also important to note that AI can be used in such a way that it does not collect any more personal data than what has already been collected – rather, it makes more effective use of that data. A school will already have students’ and teachers’ photos in the form of IDs, and those images are probably being stored in a database, as well as phone numbers, addresses, dates of birth, Social Security numbers, academic records, class schedules, disciplinary records, teaching credentials, and more. If a school is using RFID readers to scan key cards, there are also records of who has which key card and which key cards can access certain parts of the campus. School districts also have a serious responsibility to lay out guidelines on how they are going to use student and teacher data and make these guidelines transparent. They must take steps to make sure the data is secure and communicate openly about what the data will be used for, how it will be stored, and for how long it will be stored. Fears of excessive surveillance can be assuaged with a clear plan for managing data responsibly. AI and machine learning are becoming more advanced and continuing to gain traction in security applications. As such, users and integrators must educate themselves on appropriate uses, the benefits these technologies offer, and how successful integration with existing devices and practices makes surveillance more effective. School campuses, where forward-thinking is part of the curriculum, are perhaps an ideal environment for technological education. ■ » Steve Wilber is Training Manager for Dahua Technology USA. He has more than 20 years experience in video surveillance training, sales and marketing. Request more info about the company at Facial recognition has numerous potential applications in a school environment.

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