Reckless Spending in Video Surveillance?

Author: John Honovich, Published on Mar 05, 2009

Does video surveillance suffer from similar problems to banking? We are all learning that easy money combined with little regulation ultimately creates disasters. What's interesting is that video surveillance shares some characteristics with banking:

  • 9/11 triggered a massive surge in video surveillance funding
  • Governments have pushed through large scale projects quickly
  • We have pushed cutting edge unproven new technologies

There's been a lot of easy money available for video surveillance and we have rolled many speculative city wide surveillance and video analytic projects. Reports are fairly common about significant problems with video surveillance systems - recently Washington DC, a few months ago at the Mexico border and continuously from the broader public. And, if you have been around long enough, you know that these examples are just the tip of the iceberg. There are many more failing projects out there that no one wants to publicly address.

For those of us in industry, the pressure is high to close the deal. While most genuinely care about improving security, if the client is willing to take the risk, we are generally more than happy to commit to it.  Easy money has made many security managers open to more risks and industry has been happy to feed that.

What's the Risk

Beyond a false sense of security, what we are learning from the financial fiasco is that the public will eventually crack down on systematic problems. It may take years and spectacular failures to do so but eventually it will get stopped. When it does get stopped, it's likely that cultural, political and legal restrictions become so strong that it impedes even legitimate activity.

The risk for video surveillance is that the public failures and the fear of destroying privacy creates a powerful backlash.

I do not think that the extent of the problem is anywhere near the level of the financial industry. However, I do think the days of easy security money are ending and that we are entering into a new climate of scrutiny. Overpromising with the public's funds on speculative video surveillance may have been overlooked for the last few years but times are changing. Thoughts?

Most Recent Industry Reports

Security Robots Are Just Entertainment on Jul 21, 2017
Great entertainment, no real security value.  That is the happy (or sad) state of security robots in 2017. Knightscope robot's drowning, the...
Wireless Burglar Alarm Sensors Guide on Jul 21, 2017
Wireless sensors for burglar alarm sensors are an increasingly common option for the historical labor intensive wired alarm systems. However,...
Competing Against ADT on Jul 20, 2017
ADT is one of the biggest players in the security industry, with ~$4 billion revenue. In 2017, they were acquired / merged with Protection...
Hikvision Launching Deep Learning Recorders on Jul 20, 2017
Hikvision has become a common choice for super low cost NVRs. Now, Hikvision is aiming to move up market, with deep learning NVRs that claim far...
PR Campaign Exploiting Manufacturer Cybersecurity on Jul 20, 2017
Manufacturers increasingly have a bulls-eye on their back. As cyber security solutions providers grow, they realize a great way to get publicity...
Axis Door Station Tested (A8105-E) on Jul 19, 2017
Axis continues their push into niche markets, especially audio, with network speakers, an IP horn, and video door stations. We bought and tested...
Manufacturer Favorability Guide on Jul 19, 2017
This 120 page PDF guide may be downloaded inside by all IPVM members. It covers our 20 manufacturer favorability rankings and 20 manufacturer...
$8 Billion Utility Georgia Power Enters Surveillance Business Offering Avigilon And Genetec on Jul 19, 2017
Utilities are typically considered major customers of surveillance integrators but one utility, Georgia Power, with $8+ billion in annual revenue...
Knightscope Laughs off Robot Drowning on Jul 18, 2017
A day after a Knightscope robot drowned, Knightscope has issued an 'official statement' making fun of the issue: The implied message is that...
Microsoft Video AI Cloud Services Examined on Jul 18, 2017
Microsoft has released one of the most amazing video analytics marketing videos ever. In it, they detect oil spills, track individual people giving...

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