Configuring privacy protection - Security Center 5.7

Security Center Administrator Guide 5.7

Applies to
Security Center 5.7
Last updated
2021-12-16
Content type
Guides > Administrator guides
Language
English (United States)
Product
Security Center
Version
5.7

To blur or anonymize a video stream, you must configure privacy protection for the camera.

Before you begin

  • Privacy protection is only supported with native cameras. Privacy protection cannot be enabled on federated cameras or DVRs.
  • Ensure that OpenCL is available by installing the latest graphics card adapter drivers on the Config Tool workstation used to configure privacy protection. To ensure optimal performance, you should also update the graphics card adapter drivers on the Security Desk workstation.

What you should know

  • You cannot configure privacy protection on federated cameras.
  • Privacy protection is not compatible with fisheye lenses.
  • Privacy protection only supports PTZ cameras that are used as fixed cameras. After moving the PTZ, the stream is blurred for the duration of the startup learning period.
  • Privacy protection is resource-intensive.
    • The number of streams doubles when privacy protection is enabled.
    • Blurring is computed and applied on the decoded image.
  • Using backward compatibility, previous Security Center versions can view the protected streams (through Federation™), but not the original ones. This also applies to previous versions of Media Gateway (RTSP streams) and the Web Client.

Procedure

  1. Create a Privacy Protector role; no configuration is required. From the System task, click Roles > Add an entity > Privacy Protector and complete the fields as required.
    CAUTION:
    Ensure that the Privacy Protector role is not on the same server as the Archiver because it can affect the CPU performance and the archives. When CPU usage is high on the Archiver server, Archiving queue full situations can occur and cause data loss.
  2. From the Config Tool home page, open the Video task.
  3. Select the camera to configure, and click the Privacy protection tab.

  4. Select the Privacy protection option that you require. Choose either ON or OFF.
    ON
    Specifies that privacy protection video analysis and anonymization is enabled. Both the live stream (Monitoring task in Security Desk) and the Fast preview (Preview section of the Privacy Protection tab in Config Tool) are anonymized.
    OFF
    Specifies that privacy protection video analysis and anonymization is disabled.
    NOTE: If there is more than one Privacy Protector role, a combo box is displayed to select the one you want to use.
  5. Select the Recording option that you require. Choose either ON or OFF.
    ON
    Specifies the continuous recording of the privacy-protected stream. When Recording is ON, the live stream is used for the anonymized archive stream.
    IMPORTANT: The recording settings of the camera (confidential video) and the recording settings of the privacy-protected stream work independently of each other. Archive schedules are not supported for the privacy-protected stream. The original (not anonymized) stream is archived using the settings in the Recording tab.
    OFF
    Specifies that the privacy-protected stream is not recorded.
  6. Select a privacy protection method from the following:
    Method
    Specifies the privacy protection method. The option that you select varies depending on how you need to apply privacy protection on the video. Choose one of the following:
    Blur
    Blurs the active blocks. The additional parameter Intensity level controls the intensity of the blurring.
    Colorize
    Fills the blocks with a solid color. The additional parameter Highlight intensity controls the intensity of the colorization. Colorize is useful when you want to ensure that no person is recognizable in any scene.
    Pixelation
    Sets the appearance of the blocks that obscure moving objects. The additional parameter Highlight intensity controls the intensity of the pixelation.
  7. Select or specify the following:
    Color
    (Colorize method only) Specifies the color to use for colorization. Specify a color from the Basic color picker, or click Custom for additional options.

    Highlight intensity
    (Pixelation and Colorize methods only) Specifies the intensity of colorization, or pixelation. The default value is 5. You can specify values in the range 0 - 255.
    Intensity level
    (Blur method only) Specifies the intensity of blurring. The default value is 5. You can specify values in the range 1 - 5.
    Tolerance
    Specifies the illumination change tolerance as a percentage. The default value is 25%. You can specify values in the range 1 - 100 %.
  8. Select a Preset.
    Preset
    Specifies an optimized default set of settings for the selected use. Choose either Indoor or Outdoor.
    Indoor
    Specifies an optimized default set of settings for indoor situations.
    Outdoor
    Specifies an optimized default set of settings for outdoor situations.
    Use Preset when you want to use the default settings for Indoor or Outdoor, instead of the Advanced settings.
  9. Designate one or more exclusion zones.
    1. Select one of the following:
      Add always blur zone ()
      The selected privacy protection method is always applied to these zones. Everything within an always blur zone, including the background, is protected.
      Add never blur zone ()
      The selected privacy protection method is never applied to these zones. Everything within a never blur zone, including motion, is not protected.
    2. Click and drag over an area of the video preview to define the zone.

      In the case of overlapping zones, always blur zones have priority over never blur zones.

      NOTE: Video blocks cannot be partially blurred. When the boundary of an always blur zone divides a video block, the full block, including the area outside the zone, will always be blurred. When the boundary of a never blur zone divides a video block, the full block, including the area inside the zone, will blur when motion is detected. The size of protected video blocks is defined by the Precision parameter.
  10. (Optional) Show or hide the advanced settings as required.
    The first part of advanced settings is specific to the privacy protection method. The second part, Startup and Continuous learning periods, define the durations used to acquire the background and update it.
    • Click Show advanced settings when you want to adjust the advanced settings individually.
    • Click Hide advanced settings when you want to use the default presets for Indoor or Outdoor.
  11. In the Preset configuration section, enter or select the following as required:
    Contrast threshold
    (Outdoor preset only) Specifies that edges in the image are only considered for blurring or anonymization if their value exceeds the specified threshold. The default value is 15. You can specify values in the range 0 - 255.
    NOTE: Camera noise and illumination changes cause edges with low contrast (in most cases not visible for the human observer). These edges can transform quickly, which is why they should not be considered for the background model or pixelization. If this value is too low, minor image changes might be pixelized. If the value is too high while the contrast in the image is too low, such as black clothes on a black background, parts of the foreground objects might be visible, enabling the recognition of persons.
    Number of illumination states
    (Indoor preset only) Specifies the illumination states model to use. Specifying a higher number of illumination states helps the Privacy Protector deal with fast-changing lighting conditions. This only works when fast, global changes in lighting occur and an additional intermediate state should be added. For example, if there are two lighting states (lights on and lights off), three states should be specified: on, off, and intermediate. The default value is 1, which disables the global illumination check and the default illumination state model is used. You can specify values in the range 1 - 10.
    Tip: Use the default setting when you expect small or gradual lighting changes that the model can adapt to during the continuous learning period.
    Illumination change tolerance
    (Indoor preset only) Specifies how big the changes in the video image must be (in percent), to switch the background model. Smaller values result in quick changes, while higher values result in slow changes. The default value is 80%. You can specify values in the range 1 - 100 %.
    Startup learning period
    Specifies the time spent analyzing the video to learn the background. The default setting is 60 seconds. You can specify values in the range 1 - 1000 seconds.
    Continuous learning period
    Specifies the time that elapses before analyzing the video again to identify and mask any moving persons or objects. The default setting is 200 seconds. You can specify values in the range 1 - 1000 seconds.
    Tip: Specify a learning period 50% longer than the time that people are expected to stand still. This ensures that people who do not move (for a period of time) are not visible.
    Precision
    Specifies the block size in the protected video image. Specifying a high number results in smaller blocks. The default setting is 60. You can specify values in the range 0 - 100.
    Analysis quality
    Specifies the analysis downscale that is used to perform video analysis. Select one of the following:
    Balanced
    Specifies a downscaled video resolution height of 240 pixels.
    Performance
    Specifies a downscaled video resolution height of 80 pixels.
    Quality
    Specifies a downscaled video resolution height of 480 pixels.
    Show exclusion zones boundaries
    When enabled, a blue bounding box, outlining the exclusion zones, is displayed when the associated camera is monitored in Security Desk.
  12. In the Preview configuration section, enable or disable Fast preview as required. The Fast preview option is for Config Tool only.
    Fast preview: ON
    Specifies a smaller learning period value (one second) instead of the values specified in advanced settings. This setting is for the Preview on the right side of the Privacy protection page only, this setting does not impact the server or the actual stream.
    Best Practice: Use Fast preview: ON when you want to test many different parameters without waiting for the background model to update each time. When using fast preview the background model will be less accurate.
    Fast Preview: OFF
    Use Fast preview: OFF when you want the privacy protection algorithm to be exactly what it is going to be after the specified changes are applied.
  13. Click Apply.