Dangers of Deleting Surveillance Video

Author: John Honovich, Published on Apr 20, 2010

In this update, we examine the risks of deleted surveillance video and best practices / settings to minimize this problem.

Fairly regularly, a news story emerges about surveillance video of a criminal incident mysteriously disappearing. In March 2010, surveillance video went missing of an American football star accused of rape. In April 2010, the University of Maryland reported that surveillance video of a civil disturbance was lost. In the Mayland case, officials noted that the video automatically overwrites older video and that somehow a 2 minute gap appeared in the exported video.

***** ** ****** **** ********** ************ ** ***** ******** *****, they *** ********* ********** **** * ****** ******* ** ************ video ***. ******* *********** ** ** ********, ************ ***** ** important ********* *** ** ****.

*** ********* / ******** ** ************ ***** *****

** ******* ****** *** *** ******* ************* ****** *** ****** video ****** (***** ************* ***** **, ***** ***). ** ********, **** ******* ***** users ** *** *** ******* ******* ******** ** ***** ** which ***** ***** **** ** ********* **** ** ***** ******* (e.g., ** **** ******* ** ***, ***** **** ** ** days *** ** ******* **** ** *** ** ******* ** 'free').

**** ************ ***** **** ** ********* ** *** ************ ***** - ********** **** ****** *** ***** *****. **** ** ****** both ** **** *** **** ** *** ************* ** **** systems ** *** **** ******* ******* ********* *** ********** ** changing *** ******** ******.

******** ******** **** *** ****** ******* ******** *** ********

Storage ******** ** ******: A number of systems have settings where you can adjust the maximum storage duration independently by camera. The advantage of this is greater flexibility to keep video from certain 'high risk' cameras longer than 'lower' risk. The downside is increased confusion or risk that someone forgets or allows video to be over-written (e.g., they did not realize that camera 3 is only set to 7 day storage but camera 4 is set to 14 days).

No ****** ***** ****** ** ****** *****: Very rarely do VMS systems allow users to delete video from within the application. It's highly uncommon to find a 'delete video' button inside the client application. This provides some safeguard against accidental or malicious deletion.

Accessing ********* ***** ***** ** ******: In most traditional appliances (e.g., DVRs), it was either not possible or very difficult to access the stored video files directly. This provided additional barriers against a malicious user from deleting video. However, most VMS systems by default, allow any user who can access the VMS server to go to the the folder(s) where video is stored and manually delete video with a click of the button. This is an especially important risk if you are concerned about an admin or technician having motivation to do so.

Locking ***** / ******** **** ******** *****: While exporting video is the most common way of ensuring that surveillance video is not lost, some VMS systems allow you to flag or mark video segments to prevent them from being deleted in the normal FIFO / oldest video cycle. One practical downside is that the implementation of this feature requires marking each camera and time frame individually so it can be cumbersome to simply set all video from a 1 day or 1 hour to be locked.

***************

**'* **** ** *** **** ***** ****** ** ******** *********** or **** **** ******* ****** ** ******** ** **** ***** longer. ** ********, **** **** ***** ******. ****** ***** ******, delay ** ** *** **** *** ** ******. ****, **** storage ***** ** ** ****** *** ******** * *********** *******.

*** *** **** ******** **** ****** **'* ********* ***:

  • Restrict ******/****** **** ****** ***** ***********: Make sure that surveillance video cannot be easily manually deleted from the server it is stored. Implement restrictions on accessing these files. Downside is that it requires some IT expertise.
  • Lock ***** ** **** ********: As soon as you believe an incident might require investigation, lock the video to prevent automatic deletion. Downside is that many systems do not support this feature and it still requires an operator to know how to use the feature. Upside is that it can be done quicker and for broader time frames than exporting to file, CD or DVD.
Login to read this IPVM report.
Why do I need to log in?
IPVM conducts unique testing and research funded by member's payments enabling us to offer the most independent, accurate and in-depth information.

Related Reports

You Get Robbed, Canary Will Pay You Up To $1,000 on Sep 22, 2016
Canary is trying to break the status quo in DIY security, first by raising over $40 million, and now a revamp of their monthly services package...
Milestone Ends Development of "Enterprise" VMS on Sep 22, 2016
Milestone 'Enterprise' was one of the first enterprise video management software offerings, selected by many early adopters of IP video. However,...
History of Video Surveillance on Sep 22, 2016
This is a concise history of video surveillance covering the past decade.  The goal is to help professionals newer to the industry understand...
Tagged RFID Object Search Recorded Video on Sep 20, 2016
Video analytics has gotten fairly good at tagging people in video, but it does not solve the problem of finding items like specific merchandise or...
Milestone Kills Go, Slashes Express Pricing, Launches Enhanced Version Free on Sep 12, 2016
Milestone is shaking up the industry again with enhanced free software and a major price drop. 6 years ago, Milestone launched their first free...
Axis / Canon Launch 20MP Avigilon Rival on Sep 12, 2016
For years, Avigilon has essentially owned the 'super high resolution' single imager market. And Axis has resisted, most famously in 2012, when...
Milestone VMS Adds H.265, SVQR, RAM Video Optimization on Sep 09, 2016
Milestone is rolling out enhancements to XProtect to support H.265, enhanced edge recording functionality, and potentially allow users to reduce...
OpenEye Launches Own Cloud VMS on Sep 07, 2016
OpenEye has been shipping security recording solutions since 2001, yet has remained mostly behind the scenes, OEMing their solution to more...
Pelco Optera 270° Camera Tested on Sep 06, 2016
Multi-imager cameras are typically 180° or 360°. Pelco has released a fixed 270° versions of their Optera intended to cover exterior building...
Lenel Partners Angry, Lenel Does Not Care on Sep 01, 2016
Even more than Arecont, one manufacturer stands out for consistent complaints - Lenel. Over the past few years, no manufacturer has had more...

Most Recent Industry Reports

Nest Cam Outdoor Tested on Sep 23, 2016
After years of claiming an outdoor model was "coming", addressing their biggest user demand, Nest has finally released their Outdoor Camera, an...
ACTi Refuses Race To The Bottom, Shifts To Solutions on Sep 23, 2016
The original low cost IP camera disruptor was ACTi. Back in the 2008 - 2010 time frame, Taiwanese manufacturer ACTi challenged the Western and...
You Get Robbed, Canary Will Pay You Up To $1,000 on Sep 22, 2016
Canary is trying to break the status quo in DIY security, first by raising over $40 million, and now a revamp of their monthly services package...
Milestone Ends Development of "Enterprise" VMS on Sep 22, 2016
Milestone 'Enterprise' was one of the first enterprise video management software offerings, selected by many early adopters of IP video. However,...
History of Video Surveillance on Sep 22, 2016
This is a concise history of video surveillance covering the past decade.  The goal is to help professionals newer to the industry understand...
Access Control Course Fall 2016 on Sep 22, 2016
IPVM offers the most comprehensive access control course in the industry. Unlike manufacturer training that focuses only on a small part of the...
Totally Wireless IP Camera (IPVideo Corp NomadHD) on Sep 21, 2016
Wireless battery powered cameras have been a surveillance pipe dream for years, limited by camera power consumption, battery technology, and...
Axis Launches IP Speakers on Sep 21, 2016
First, Axis introduced an IP horn, then it was video intercoms, and now it is Networked Speakers? While IP-based Public Address systems are not...
Tagged RFID Object Search Recorded Video on Sep 20, 2016
Video analytics has gotten fairly good at tagging people in video, but it does not solve the problem of finding items like specific merchandise or...
FLIR and Geovision Join the Hikvision Price Cut Race on Sep 20, 2016
Hikvision's price cuts are clearly a trend setter. After numerous and increasingly large cuts, the destructive cycle is accelerating. Last month,...

The world's leading video surveillance information source, IPVM provides the best reporting, testing and training for 10,000+ members globally. Dedicated to independent and objective information, we uniquely refuse any and all advertisements, sponsorship and consulting from manufacturers.

About | FAQ | Contact