IBM "Dumped" and US Public Surveillance Problems

By: John Honovich, Published on Oct 14, 2009

Despite massive interest in public video surveillance projects in the United States, many of the projects since 9/11 have faced serious public problems.

From New York [link no longer available] to Illinois [link no longer available] to the US/Mexican Border, all report extensive delays, cost over-runs and concerns about accomplishing their mission of increasing security.

Below is a video from the local news station examining the problems in Illinois [link no longer available] that cites:

  • How IBM was replaced by Johnson Controls after multiple years and tens of millions in payment
  • How multiple municipalities have opted out of the program making it less useful for first responders as gaps in coverage will exist
  • In a live demonstration of the system, how distorted video from low bandwidth connections undermine the usability of the system.

While many moderate success stories in public surveillance exist, it is likely that the issues for the larger systems are not accidental.

The rush to scale massive surveillance systems using still developing technologies such as mesh wireless, video analytics and PSIM significantly increase the risk of major cost over-runs and problems.

2 reports cite this report:

IBM / Genetec Surveillance System Investigated Over Philippines Human Rights Abuses on Mar 22, 2019
A lengthy investigation into an IBM video surveillance project in the...
IBM: Still a Niche Player in Video Surveillance on Apr 25, 2010
More than 4 years after IBM's much ballyhooed entrance into the video...
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