Aggression detection: big brother promises protection through recognition

In U.K. public places, smarter closed-circuit TV cameras have been given the ability to listen for disturbances and also keep an eye on citizens.The system has already been put into use in the Netherlands to listen for people speaking in aggressive tones, to try to counter violent attacks in Dutch streets, prisons and railways.The aggression detector has been fitted to CCTV cameras on the streets of Groningen and Rotterdam in the Netherlands. In the U.K., London police also are considering installing the system, said Derek van der Vorst, the director of Sound Intelligence, the company that created the technology.

The system works by putting microphones in CCTV cameras to continually analyze the sound in the surrounding area. If aggressive tones are picked up, an alarm signal is automatically sent to the police, who can zoom in the camera to the location of the suspect sound and investigate the situation.

“Ninety percent of violent cases start with verbal aggression,” Van der Vorst said. “With our system, the police can respond a lot quicker to a violent situation.”

Read this article from the C|Net, with commentary from WIRED’s blog Listening Post. Also from WIRED: Peekaboo, I’m Spying on You

Legal scholars are divided as to whether your nanny has a right to privacy in your home. Of course, plenty of parents have used them secretly, and according to Rhyder McClure of The New York NannyCam Company, surveillance yields results: “For 20 percent of all the cameras we install,” he says, “the nannies are fired the next day.”

Previously from WNM: When we’re Big Brother, Your boss, big brother and The Surveillance Society

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