Should I Restrict Recorded Video Access For My Operators?

In dedicated security operations centres with large numbers of camera (500+) is it considered best practice to restrict operator's access to recorded video? For example, they are only allowed to the most recent 5 minutes recorded history.

The logic being you want operators to focus on the present and you want to restrict access to recorded video for a number of reasons.

In scenarios where access to recorded video is needed, this task is hand-off to another team that has the access permisssions to review the full recorded video history.


I wouldn't call it a strict 'best practice' as it depends on the policies / individual situation of the end user.

That said, wanting "operators to focus on the present" is not a common reason I know for disabling access to recorded video. Operators are not generally super interested or distracted by recorded video.

On the other hand very large organizations do typically divide live monitoring and investigations into separate teams / individuals. To that end, restricting the live monitoring team from searching for video makes some sense.

As for your example of not allowing to see all but the "most recent 5 minutes recorded history", I am not sure what VMSes support that. Most systems have user permissions for recorded video but it is all or nothing proposition (at most at a per camera level). I don't know what VMSes let you set a max time frame that a user is allowed to search video. Anyone with info on that, please share?

Hi John

Since you asked, Digifort does allow you to set a max time (In minutes) for video playback per user and per user group (If a user is inside an user group, then the lowest value in minutes is the one that will be used effectivelly)

I also found that odd when a customer asked us to make that feature.. but I can see the benefits since we made it and as I can see, others will also use that

It is the customers call obviously, but my personal preference is operator has hands off recorded video. I have seen operators do "fishy" things with recordings only to find out later there was an inside job going on. When asked, that is advice and my reason.

There's also the risk that disabling their ability to view recorded video detracts from their ability to do their job. To that end, A's point about allowing 5 minute (or 30, etc.) would certainly help eliminate the most common problem, if VMSes allow you to do it.

The original Bosch BVMS allowed that feature. I don't know about recent versions.

Ocularis allows you to restrict access to playback on a per-camera basis - either by denying access completely, or limiting how far back an operator can view specific cameras (in hours though, not minutes).