Welcome!

News Feed Item

The Lies of CSI: Survey Exposes Surveillance Myths Created by TV Crime Dramas Versus Reality of Today’s Security Technology

Canadians are hooked on crime dramas, and some shows are so convincing that our perception of what forensic technology can do has been skewed – especially when it comes to video surveillance.

According to a survey by Leger* for Axis Communications, the global leader in network video surveillance, 68% of Canadians said they watch crime dramas like CSI, Criminal Minds, Castle and Law and Order. Of those surveyed, most believe image enhancement techniques and intelligent software are readily available to help law enforcement easily identify suspects. Yet nearly 75% of surveillance cameras sold worldwide today remain analog (IHS Research), which is why security video often shown on the evening news is grainy and of poor quality, making identification difficult.

Key findings of the survey include:

  • 71% of Canadians think recorded surveillance footage can be enhanced in a lab using software.
  • Most Canadians have very little idea how long surveillance video is generally stored, with 27% admitting they have no idea and 26% believing video is stored indefinitely.
  • Three-quarters of Canadians believe facial recognition software can easily pick individual faces out of a crowd for identification, with crime drama fans even more likely to believe this.

“When TV crime technicians produce an accurate photo of a suspect from the reflection off someone’s sunglasses, it makes for good entertainment but it’s not realistic,” said Bob Moore, country manager, Canada, Axis Communications. “IP camera innovations have improved image quality and image usability exponentially, but if police are dealing with low-resolution video common in the real world today, there is nothing that can be done to enhance the image.”

The surveillance industry is currently undergoing a shift from analog CCTV to IP video, with IP cameras expected to begin out-shipping their analog predecessors in 2017. This is because IP video offers much improved functionality closer to the technology shown on TV, including HDTV-quality video, ease-of-use, speed of forensic search, intelligent analytics and low-light recording in color.

Surveillance Cameras: Myths vs. Reality

Myth: Surveillance video quality can be enhanced in a lab using software.
Reality: “What you see is what you get,” said Moore. “If you don’t start out with high resolution video, enlarging it will result in a bigger, blurrier, more pixelated image. Video clarity cannot be fixed after the fact. As a rule of thumb, an image must supply 80 pixels from ear to ear to ID a face.”

Myth: Surveillance video is stored indefinitely.
Reality: “In Canada, there are no legal guidelines regarding how long surveillance video is stored, but as a general rule 31 days is the average most video is stored before being overwritten. After all, it is data,” said Moore. “In practical terms, it’s really an issue of storage and how much an organization has available to keep. Video that is pulled to be used as evidence in a case, however, could be kept indefinitely.”

Myth: Facial recognition software can pick someone out of a crowd.
Reality: “There have been impressive strides in facial recognition analytics, but it is not as prevalent as TV producers would have you believe. The technology works best in controlled conditions,” said Moore. “Some buildings employ facial recognition software to automatically open doors for authorized people, but the person must look directly into the camera and, most importantly, their faces must be stored on a database for comparison. This is much different than picking a random face out of a moving crowd.”

Myth: Most surveillance is monitored in real time.
Reality: “The opposite is actually true,” said Moore. “Ninety-nine percent of security video is deleted without ever being seen. Of the video that is seen, only one percent of that is viewed live. Most security video is not monitored live by a person because of the expense involved. Thankfully innovations in IP video are moving video surveillance from a forensics-only tool to a proactive one.”

“Today’s IP cameras offer more flexibility and advantages than older analog models and hopefully provide real Canadian crime fighters with the images they need to do their jobs,” said Moore. “While it was good to see that 47% of Canadians do not believe crime dramas provide an accurate depiction of how security equipment is used, one-third still believe these myths to be true. With IP video, we’re vastly ahead of the quality and ability of outdated analog CCTV, but haven’t yet caught up to Hollywood.”

*Editor’s note: A survey of 1,500 Canadians was completed online between October 29 and 31, 2013, using Leger’s online panel, LegerWeb. A probability sample of the same size would yield a margin of error of +/- 2.5%, 19 times out of 20.

About Axis Communications
Axis offers intelligent security solutions that enable a smarter, safer world. As the global market leader in network video, Axis is driving the industry by continually launching innovative network products based on an open platform—delivering high value to its customers and carried through a global partner network. Axis has long-term relationships with partners and provides them with knowledge and ground-breaking network products in existing and new markets.

Axis has more than 1,600 dedicated employees in more than 40 countries around the world, supported by a network of over 60,000 partners across 179 countries. Founded in 1984, Axis is a Sweden-based company listed on NASDAQ OMX Stockholm under the ticker AXIS.
For more information about Axis, please visit our website www.axis.com.

More Stories By Business Wire

Copyright © 2009 Business Wire. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of Business Wire content is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Business Wire. Business Wire shall not be liable for any errors or delays in the content, or for any actions taken in reliance thereon.

Latest Stories
As businesses adopt functionalities in cloud computing, it’s imperative that IT operations consistently ensure cloud systems work correctly – all of the time, and to their best capabilities. In his session at @BigDataExpo, Bernd Harzog, CEO and founder of OpsDataStore, will present an industry answer to the common question, “Are you running IT operations as efficiently and as cost effectively as you need to?” He will expound on the industry issues he frequently came up against as an analyst, and...
All clouds are not equal. To succeed in a DevOps context, organizations should plan to develop/deploy apps across a choice of on-premise and public clouds simultaneously depending on the business needs. This is where the concept of the Lean Cloud comes in - resting on the idea that you often need to relocate your app modules over their life cycles for both innovation and operational efficiency in the cloud. In his session at @DevOpsSummit at19th Cloud Expo, Valentin (Val) Bercovici, CTO of Soli...
"We're bringing out a new application monitoring system to the DevOps space. It manages large enterprise applications that are distributed throughout a node in many enterprises and we manage them as one collective," explained Kevin Barnes, President of eCube Systems, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at DevOps at 18th Cloud Expo, held June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
SYS-CON Events announced today that CA Technologies has been named "Platinum Sponsor" of SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, New York, and 21st International Cloud Expo, which will take place in November in Silicon Valley, California.
SYS-CON Events announced today that delaPlex will exhibit at SYS-CON's @CloudExpo, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. delaPlex pioneered Software Development as a Service (SDaaS), which provides scalable resources to build, test, and deploy software. It’s a fast and more reliable way to develop a new product or expand your in-house team.
With major technology companies and startups seriously embracing IoT strategies, now is the perfect time to attend @ThingsExpo 2016 in New York. Learn what is going on, contribute to the discussions, and ensure that your enterprise is as "IoT-Ready" as it can be! Internet of @ThingsExpo, taking place June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, New York, is co-located with 20th Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry p...
Extreme Computing is the ability to leverage highly performant infrastructure and software to accelerate Big Data, machine learning, HPC, and Enterprise applications. High IOPS Storage, low-latency networks, in-memory databases, GPUs and other parallel accelerators are being used to achieve faster results and help businesses make better decisions. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Michael O'Neill, Strategic Business Development at NVIDIA, focused on some of the unique ways extreme computing is...
The explosion of new web/cloud/IoT-based applications and the data they generate are transforming our world right before our eyes. In this rush to adopt these new technologies, organizations are often ignoring fundamental questions concerning who owns the data and failing to ask for permission to conduct invasive surveillance of their customers. Organizations that are not transparent about how their systems gather data telemetry without offering shared data ownership risk product rejection, regu...
WebRTC sits at the intersection between VoIP and the Web. As such, it poses some interesting challenges for those developing services on top of it, but also for those who need to test and monitor these services. In his session at WebRTC Summit, Tsahi Levent-Levi, co-founder of testRTC, reviewed the various challenges posed by WebRTC when it comes to testing and monitoring and on ways to overcome them.
Every successful software product evolves from an idea to an enterprise system. Notably, the same way is passed by the product owner's company. In his session at 20th Cloud Expo, Oleg Lola, CEO of MobiDev, will provide a generalized overview of the evolution of a software product, the product owner, the needs that arise at various stages of this process, and the value brought by a software development partner to the product owner as a response to these needs.
The Internet of Things can drive efficiency for airlines and airports. In their session at @ThingsExpo, Shyam Varan Nath, Principal Architect with GE, and Sudip Majumder, senior director of development at Oracle, discussed the technical details of the connected airline baggage and related social media solutions. These IoT applications will enhance travelers' journey experience and drive efficiency for the airlines and the airports.
For organizations that have amassed large sums of software complexity, taking a microservices approach is the first step toward DevOps and continuous improvement / development. Integrating system-level analysis with microservices makes it easier to change and add functionality to applications at any time without the increase of risk. Before you start big transformation projects or a cloud migration, make sure these changes won’t take down your entire organization.
In his keynote at @ThingsExpo, Chris Matthieu, Director of IoT Engineering at Citrix and co-founder and CTO of Octoblu, focused on building an IoT platform and company. He provided a behind-the-scenes look at Octoblu’s platform, business, and pivots along the way (including the Citrix acquisition of Octoblu).
In the first article of this three-part series on hybrid cloud security, we discussed the Shared Responsibility Model and examined how the most common attack strategies persist, are amplified, or are mitigated as assets move from data centers to the cloud. Today, we’ll look at some of the unique security challenges that are introduced by public cloud environments. While cloud computing delivers many operational, cost-saving and security benefits, it takes place in a public, shared and on-demand ...
In his session at @ThingsExpo, Sudarshan Krishnamurthi, a Senior Manager, Business Strategy, at Cisco Systems, will discuss how IT and operational technology (OT) work together, as opposed to being in separate siloes as once was traditional. Attendees will learn how to fully leverage the power of IoT in their organization by bringing the two sides together and bridging the communication gap. He will also look at what good leadership must entail in order to accomplish this, and how IT managers ca...