Genetec Privacy Protector Tested

By Rob Kilpatrick, Published Nov 12, 2018, 10:33am EST

Genetec has built Kiwi Security's Privacy Protector into Security Center, an analytic which anonymizes individuals in cameras' fields of view without obscuring actions and movements.

We tested Privacy Protector in multiple scenarios to see how it performs, examining:

  • Does Privacy Protector consistently mask subjects?
  • Does it mask fast moving subjects?
  • Does it mast multiple subjects in the scene?
  • How does it perform in low light?
  • What settings impact available subject details?
  • How do pixelate, blur, and colorize modes differ in performance?
  • How does Privacy Protector impact server load?

IPVM Image

*******

** *** *****, ******* Protector ****** **** ** most ******, ******** ******* subjects, ********* ***** ******* as **** ** ******** people ** *** ***** of ****. ************, ************* was ******, **** ******* settings (********, **% *********) working **** ** **** scenes.

*******, ***** *** *** key ****** ** ** aware ** **** ******** to *** ******* *********:

  • ********* ******** ******** ** low *****:** *** ***** ****** (~1 *** *** *****), the ******** ************ ****** to **** *** ****** subject, ********* ***** ****. However, ******* ** **** light ***** *** **** due ** ****** ****** of ******* *****/***********.
  • *********** *** ******:** *** *****, ******** Privacy ********* ******** ** a *-*% ******** ** CPU **** *** ****** (1080p/10FPS) *** ** * second ****** ***** ******* (to ***** ********* ** recorded *****) ** **** as ******** **********. ** very ***** ******* **** impact *** ** **********, but ** **** **-** camera *******, ***** *** need ** ******* ******* Protector ** * ********* server.

Per ****** ********* ****

*******'* ******* ********* ******** an ********** $*** **** license *** *******. **** is ** ******** ** the ******** ****** *******, and ** **** ********* in ******** ************ *** Enterprise ********.

Simple *****

**** *** ******* ********* role ** ******* ** Genetec, ***** ** ******. Default ******** *** ** used ** **** ***** (pixelation **** ****** **** pixels), *** ***** *** more ******** ******** ******** to **** ****** ** for ***** ******* *** additional ******* ********.

Privacy ********* ******

******* ********* ***** ****** objects ** ***** ** order ** ******* *********** details. ** *******, **** is ************ ** ****** pixelating *** ******, ****** there *** ******** ******* which ******* ********* ****** removal, ********* *****.

** *******, ***** **** is ****** ***** *** closely ******* ********' ****** (shown *****), ****** ******* and *********** ** *** subject *** **** ** obscured. **** ***** ***** size ****** *** ******** area ** ******* **** of *** **** *********** subjects, *** *** ***** display **** ***** *******, such ** *** *******'* hairstyle ** ******* ********, below.

***** **** *** ** increased ** ******* **** detail, *** ***** ***** pixels ******* **** ** the **** *********** *** moving *******. **** ****** pixel **** ******** ******* privacy, *** ***** **** of *** ********** **** around *** ******* *** reduces *** ******* ** view ***** *******.

**** *** ******* ********* is **********, ** ********** stream ** ***** ** the ****** *** *** blurred ******, **** **** and ******** ***** **** use *** ******* ****** by *******. *** ******* stream *** ** ******** to *** ****** ****** in **** ** ******** video ** ***** ******** the ***** *** ******** "Remove ******* **********", ***** below.

Entire ****** ****, *** **** ****

**** **** ****** ******* ********* / ************** ** *******'* *********, Privacy ********* ***** *** entire ******, *** **** their ****. ********* ** Kiwi **** ** **** for *** *******:

  • ***** ******* ** ****:***** **** ********* ******* of ****** ********* ******** more *********, ***** ********* the ******* * **** may ** ******, ********* the *******. **** ***** especially ** * ***** issue ** *** ** under**** ***********.
  • ******** ********** ********:******, **** ***** **** clothing *** ** **** to ******** ********, *** just ****** *******. ******* the ****** ****** ******* the *********** ** ************** via ********.

Increased ****** ******* ********

** ******** ** ****** increasing *** **** ** pixels ** *** ********'* default ****, ***** *** three ******** ******** ***** remove **** ****** **** subjects.

*****, ********** *** ********* setting ** ********** **** causes *** ******** ****** to ***** ******, ***** removes ******** *** **** color *********** ** **** subjects **** ********* ** identify, ******* ********** ***** size. **** **** **** mode **** ********* *** visibility ** ****** ********, which *** **** * guard's ********* **** **** other *****.

******, *** **** **** scrambles *** *******'* ******, making ******** **** **** difficult ** *******, **** as *** *******'* ******* shirt.

*******, ************ ***** ** objects ** * ***** color, ******* ********* *******.

Solid *********** ** **** ******

** *** *****, ******* Protector ****** **** ** most ****** ******, ******** masking ****** ********, ** well ** ******** ****** simultaneously ****** ******* *** FOV, ******* ********* *** subjects ** ******* *******.

**** **** ******* ******* the *****, ******* ********* still ****** *** ******* properly.

Object ******** ******* ** *** ***** (~* ***)

** *** *******, **** walking ******* * ~* lux *** ***** *****, the *******'* **** *** occasionally ********, ***** ***** as *** ******* ****** walking **** *** ******.

*******, ** **** ***** level ******* *** ******** due ** **** ****** of ******* *****, ********* no ***** *********** *******.

IPVM Image

CPU ***** ******

** *** *****, ******* Protector ********* *** ***** by *-*% ***** *** camera ** * ** with ** ** ********* and **** ***, **** a *** ***** ******** of **** ***** *% per ******. **** ********* in *** ****:

  • ****** ****** *** *********:*****, * ****** ****** is ******* ** *** mask *** ** ******* in ******** *****. ***********, CPU **** ******** **** vary ********* ** **********, framerate, *** *********** ********.
  • ******** **********:******, **** ********* *** to ****** **********, ***** impacts *** **** **** CPU ** ***** ******** with * ********* ******** processor.

******* ** ***** *******, those **** ***** ******* of ******* ****** **** to *** *** ********** and/or ******* *** ******* Protector **** ** * second ****** ** ** not ** ****** ********* server/directory ***********.

********

*** ********* ******** **** used ****** *******.

  • ******* ******** ****: *.* SR3

Comments (31)

Genetec Privacy Protector sells for ~$200 USD per channel estimated street price

Not to steal Sean Nelson's comment... but $200 per channel, what in the world? That's a lot of money for a feature.

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That is nothing if they do it the way they do other Kiwi features like Intrusion Detector.  If so there is an additional cost per year for SMA renewal.  So for SMA renewal it would add an additional fee to the charge you already pay per camera just to have the features.  For instance SMA for year on an enterprise camera is $50 then the intrusion detector SMA fee of $90 a year.  All on top of the one time $450 license per device using Kiwi.  

The numbers are from February so may have changed but the practice of charges remains the same.

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Hi UD1,

I’m the product marketing manager for analytics at Genetec. I want to address your comment because we recently made changes to our Genetec Advantage policies with regards to Privacy Protector. We have eliminated the additional cost related to Privacy Protector, and it is now covered by the standard camera Advantage cost.

Regarding performance, it’s important to note that Privacy Protector uses hardware-acceleration with NVIDIA graphics cards, as UD2 mentioned in a separate comment. I’m not sure if Rob’s setup for the review included a GPU, but it is possible to achieve a higher level of performance with the right appliance design. Our new 1U Streamvault analytics appliance can anonymize 50 streams in VGA resolution for example.

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So the change made was just for privacy detector and not the intrusion detector as I mentioned?  At least one option is affordable.  

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Precisely for this reason, it is necessary to do the AMS for over 3 years so that the price falls considerably.

 

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Is it? Wouldn't that be a question of how much it cost them to develop and the risk for getting ROI. I imagine there's some liability associated, too, like if it didn't work right and someone's privacy "invaded".

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There's a lot that goes into pricing and I don't know Genetec's reasoning so I won't speculate.

But competitively, the pro case for this pricing is that (1) few have this feature, (2) it is tightly integrated into the system and (3) GDPR.

The most immediate negative is that this one feature costs about what even a Genetec VMS license costs. That's going to be hard for people to justify unless they have some legal or regulatory requirement.

However, we are talking about Genetec. They still charge for extra VMS client licenses so...

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but $200 per channel.

Genetec Pricey Protector

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Gotta find a way to pay for all those lobbyists

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You'll be happy to hear that Hikvision is #1 in US lobbyists. 

Check records here and here.

Hikvision plenty of results, already over $500,000 for the last 5 months, could hit a million for the year:

Genetec has none.

You must be relieved though that the Chinese government is increasing its ownership in your partner, right?

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Hikvision plenty of results, already over $500,000 for the last 5 months, could hit a million for the year:

Genetec was able to keep this off the books by bartering with their lobbyists instead of paying them actual money. In exchange for lobbying efforts, they gave them all 4 camera systems, totalling $500,000 each.

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Genetec Peace of Mind Bundle

Privacy Protector + Hikvision Waiver only $400/ch while supplies last

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In our tests, Privacy Protector increased CPU usage by 4-5% usage per camera

Wich camera? (fps@image size?)

 

...Accordingly, CPU load increase will vary according to resolution, framerate, and compression settings.

 

 

I'd would like to know how? I guess it's linear based on FPS and resolution.

 

So if 4-5% for 1080@10fps, does it mean ~12% for 30 fps? Does it mean ~15% for 4k at 10 fps?

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I believe Genetec supports server side Nvidia GPU decoding/encoding for the Privacy Protector which would significantly lower the CPU usage. 

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Rob, thank you for the test. Does the feature work for motionless persons? 

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Igor, yes it does still mask people that are motionless in the scene. In the example below the person with the blue shirt held that position for ~3-4 minutes and was still pixelated the whole time.

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So is the blurred video what you see live or recorded, or any combination of the two?

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The blurred video is what you would see live and recorded by default, you can remove the mask (switch to the unmasked stream) in either by just right clicking and choosing to remove privacy protection.

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Does it blur all people in the FOV or can you select which people are blurred and who is not blurred?

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It blurs everybody, you can only designate areas that won't be blurred.

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Update:

Added a section to "Privacy Protector Basics" showing how to remove the mask from the live and recorded video.

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Nice.

So the blurry-ness is a dynamic mask?

Meaning the blurry-ness can be removed at any time?

Does exporting the video follow the settings at the time of the export?

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So the blurry-ness is a dynamic mask?

Meaning the blurry-ness can be removed at any time?

Does exporting the video follow the settings at the time of the export?

Yes, the blurry-ness can be removed at any time in live or recorded video (when you are removing the blurry-ness you are just switching to the stream without blur) and yes, the recorded video follows the settings at the time of the export.

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So if your recording both streams you need double the storage too?

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So if your recording both streams you need double the storage too?

From what Rob said, there is NOT both a blurry stream and a un-blurry stream recorded.

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Sorry if I wasn't clear enough in my initial explanation.

Privacy Protector does use two different streams, one stream for the blurred video and the other stream for the normal non-blurred video. When you choose to remove the blur from the video, you are just switching from the blurred stream to the non-blurred stream.

So, yes, because it records two different streams it requires more storage.

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Sorry if I wasn't clear enough in my initial explanation.

I don’t think you could have been clearer and I don’t think I could have been denser.

My apologies to Michael.

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What if I want to mask all faces except one?

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What if I want to mask all faces except one?

Make sure the scene has only one face and set mask to off ;)

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Genetec has other obfuscation tools too, such as the built-in snapshot editor in Security Desk and the video masking tools in Clearance.

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The pricing section has been updated to reflect Privacy Protector included for all 5.7/5.8 systems.

No Per Camera Licensing Cost

Genetec Privacy Protector is now is included for free with no additional license needed. Previously, it had an additional $200 MSRP license per channel.

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