There’s little doubt that Genetec has been a leading light in the development of unified IP security solutions since it pioneered the first-ever IP video management software in 1997. At Counter Terror Expo I sat down with Jean-Phillippe Deby, Business Development Director – EMEA, Genetec, to find out how it has kept pace as IP has evolved, learn why the public sector is key for Genetec, and to chat about how to ‘master the monster’ that body worn video creates.
Deby explained that Counter Terror Expo, which ran from 21 – 22 April 2015, is a key event for Genetec, not only to prove its commitment to the UK marketplace, but to network with new and existing clients within the public sector.
“The public and government sector is actually the number one sector for Genetec at the moment,” he said. “It’s clear that IP solutions have enabled governments, police and public authorities to develop systems in a way that was not possible with analogue, so they were early adopters of IP and have made up the core of our clients for the last 15 years.”
Deby told SecurityNewsDesk that Genetec had seen a very positive response to the solutions on show at its stand, including Genetec’s Security Center, which Deby describes as a Swiss army knife, providing a single intuitive interface across access control, ALPR and surveillance systems. Genetec took advantage of the platform provided by CTX to showcase one of the key features of Security Center – Federation.
“Federation allows police departments to build up bigger systems by giving them the ability to associate their systems with other systems, such as football stadiums, shopping malls and road authorities,” said Deby. “Through Federation we try to solve common issues, such as a football stadium retaining the right to provide footage to the police when they feel it’s appropriate. If you take football stadiums as an example, we can also provide things on a schedule. For instance the police can have access to the surveillance system at the stadium from one hour before a match till one hour after. So it’s balancing out the benefit of consolidating systems while maintaining control.”
When the discussion turned to the key issues floating around the exhibition, Deby was very clear on one theme what was drawing a lot of attention – body worn camera technology. Body-worn camera manufacturers, Zepcam and B-Cam have partnered with Genetec. Representatives from B-Cam were in the same stand for the show and generated a great deal of interest. B-Cam is a rugged security recording unit with full-motion video (30 FPS) and voice recording and is tamper proof to prevent alteration or unauthorised access. Zepcam specialises in body worn video and mobile video systems for professionals. Both companies have integrated their wearable camera systems with Genetec to provide a unified security platform.
However, Deby pointed out that despite the exciting developments in body worn technology, the key issue surrounding body worn video is how to manage the data these cameras capture.
“It’s about how you master the monster,” he said. “There are a lot of police forces using these cameras now, so how do you administrate all of the information from that? How do you make sure the evidence stands up in court? How can you associate that evidence with other types of evidence? Events in the US have drawn a lot of attention to this and it’s important to tackle how we can make the evidence usable, you can’t just have it on a hard disc somewhere! That’s an area where Genetec can help a lot I think.”
So what does Deby think of how we regulate the use of body worn technology, does regulation go far enough and how do you protect privacy?
“It’s very common these days for the public, businesses and government to collect images and information. Smart phones are able to capture not only photos, but can now record exceptionally high resolution video footage,” said Deby. “Privacy rights are a topic for both the public and local / national governments to continue addressing. Our police forces, which must be accountable for their interaction and treatment with the public, are especially sensitive to how the control and access to video and audio by both body-worn cameras and dash-mount cameras in their vehicles is regulated to assure privacy rights. We recognise that ‘being on video’ has become a part of life now, and Genetec is constantly working on innovative new ways to assure that surveillance continues, while enforcing privacy laws via encryption-at-capture and other methods,” added Deby.
Given the prevalence of managing footage from body worn video and the evolving way end users are interacting with their security solutions, Genetec is also investing in exploring cloud solutions this year.
Deby explained, “We’re very focussed on how to effectively capture and store evidence and make sure you’re able to share it in a secure way, and we see cloud as being a very good platform to be able to share information across agencies, so that’s going to be a big area of development in the coming months.”
Genetec is currently busy preparing for IFSEC 2015, as well as lining up a series of road shows in Europe to build on its growing global footprint.