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Facit Data Systems
Case Studies

Delivering a cost-effective solution to reduce DSAR completion times

Group of people on a high street with faces redacted.
“We have tried other systems but this was the easiest by some margin”
Posted in: Local government

Challenges and objectives

The LA was concerned about video data privacy when required to share footage with third parties, and how it would fulfil subject access requests from third parties and the public. It need a solution which:

  • Ensured original files remained on-premise

  • Offered a cost-effective solution

  • Automated redaction

  • Worked with an aging system

  • Enabled a swift response to requests

All public councils face a complex set of pressures with continued cuts in funding, rising demand for services and economic growth challenges. But with the increasing focus on personal privacy and the increased regulation from GDPR, councils are facing huge concerns as to whether they can efficiently handle the expected increase in data subject access requests (DSARs) from often aging image capture systems.

This council heavily relies on its network of cameras that feed into the control room team to ensure the safe and expeditious movement of traffic, monitoring public spaces for safety and the detection/prevention of crime, and assisting with parking enforcement.

The Control Room Manager was concerned that there was an increasing demand on his team to produce CCTV footage for use by the Police and third party authorities in criminal and civil action cases. Added to this, the team receives many requests from members of the general public under freedom of information, regarding access to recorded data. With the advent of GDPR, it meant that redacted footage had to be provided and the LA’s existing CCTV system had previously no means of achieving this. Plus, the challenge was amplified by the age of their image capture software.

The Council needed a system which was compliant with data privacy regulations (GDPR) and worked on its existing infrastructure to minimise costs. It needed to be an intuitive application to automate redaction, designed to work with any image capture system without requiring files to be exported off site.

Working with Identity Cloak is a very intuitive simple process. I use the software anything up to 10 times a day. It is perfect for our needs and has been 100% reliable. We have tried other systems but this was the easiest by some margin.

I think the most useful feature to us has been the tag and track function. I just find my subject, tag it, and the software will follow that subject throughout the whole clip without needing any intervention. You are left with a fully redacted clip which you can preview and export.

Technical Supervisor Crime Prevention, Local Authority

Our solution

Facit worked with the Control Room Manager and Technical Supervisor to introduce Identity Cloak.

We were able to install the software quickly on its existing hardware to minimise the impact to the Council’s budget. Once installed, the team could complete as many redactions as needed with no additional costs – this meant no risks to budget increases due to the number of requests. And because the software is installed on site, footage is stored on premises meaning all unredacted footage remains behind the Council’s firewall.

Our innovative software also enables the Council to redact footage from any image capture system – including its aging system. The team simply load a CD or USB file containing the video clip that requires redaction to the PC and follow the standard redaction process.

The automation enabled the team to respond to DSARs quickly to meet GDPR deadlines. It provides auto redacted footage with a few clicks of a mouse and can run through hours of footage to track a subject reliably across multiple files, without the need for manual manipulation. The flexibility of the system also enables the team to perform manual redaction if required for a specific scenario.

We are receiving many requests daily from police, third party authorities and the public. When we get requests, we have 31 days to provide the footage. With this software we can now quickly and efficiently expedite and redact data for compliance, where previously the process could take hours or even days.

Technical Supervisor Crime Prevention, Local Authority

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