Avigilon CEO Solution for Terror Attacks

By John Honovich, Published Nov 20, 2015, 12:00am EST

Ripped from the headlines, spurred on by the France terror attacks, Avigilon's CEO has a solution.

Inside this note we look at his aggressive analytics plan, analyzing its potential to solve attacks.

Solution

Avigilon's CEO explained:

"Most of us are on video 50 to 300 times per day. If you have a watchlist of known people, you can get alerts when they show up at certain areas. For example, if they show up in an area that you think would be a target area, a stadium, a public venue, some kind of critical infrastructure, you could then get an alert and have your attention drawn to that activity.

We can detect loitering, so people who spend too much time or have abnormal movement patterns. Typically, people in their day to day life are going from point a to point b. People who are going to do something nefarious, for example mug someone at an ATM or break into a facility will often loiter, have abnormal movement patterns."

Watch the video here, key section at the 3:00 minute mark:

The solution is mainly around automatically detecting known subjects or determining what people are exhibiting abnormal / risky behavior.

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Analysis

Avigilon neither offers known person watchlists nor would such watchlists work reliably in public areas or for terrorists (this is literally TV show technology as the environmental conditions undermining it and sheer number of people to watch make it nowhere near practical).

Avigilon does offer loitering but no one's loitering can reliably identify 'abnormal movement patterns' beyond someone simply standing in place for a period of time. More basically, in real life, there are lots of people loitering for any number of benign reasons nor is there any evidence that terrorists can be accurately segmented by targeting loitering.

Overall, Avigilon CEO's recommendations show the technological sophistication of a junior PR person and we wonder why he would even suggest such science fiction tactics. Perhaps it is something that an uninformed financial audience might believe, but it is nothing that his team could attempt to sell nor will knowledgeable people respect such a 'solution'.

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