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Portuguesa Heptasense presents secure video surveillance solution without privacy violation

In a practical example, in the retail area, it is explained that when a person takes a product and puts it in the bag or pocket, instead of the cart, this behavior can generate an alert to the security team, who then make a decision on how to proceed to avoid theft. This detention has nothing to do with the intervener's criminal records, nor their race, ethnicity or gender, explains Ricardo Santos. With this alert, the security team can check if something is really happening in that chamber, and then decide what to do.

Already outside the security context, Heptasense accumulates, for example, the routes taken by all people in a shopping mall, and provides general metrics on how people use the space, without being focused on any particular individual.

Heptasense already works with companies in six countries in Europe, mainly in two markets: motorways and retail. In both security teams, they are alerted, in real time, to possible threats, such as accidents or cars under contract, in the first case; and situations of suspicious behavior that can lead to theft, in the case of the flap. Still in this sector, in addition to security, they are used to analyze the products and spaces that attract consumers and how they use them over a period of time, be it an hour, day or week.

Regarding the role of artificial intelligence in the process, Ricardo Santos says that it is used in the process of identifying the object itself, whether a person, animal or vehicle. Also the identification of the behavior and actions for later analysis of this generated data.

Heptasense must be one of the few artificial intelligence companies that does not come to replace workers, but only help them. In the case of security, we have clients that the same person has to look at more than 100 cameras simultaneously for hours at a time. The difference is that with Heptasense, that person is alerted with information as to what camera has to focus their attention and make decisions. This process makes security more efficient, but also more impartial, as it focuses on detecting stocks at that moment, he explains.

The company reinforces that many companies and entities use the capabilities of AI for purposes that endanger people's privacy and often people's safety, since it focuses on facial recognition, as it happens in China, which Heptasense is totally against. Ricardo Santos says that his approach is exactly the opposite of these systems, focusing on suspicious behavior at the moment, instead of following people because they already have a criminal history or some type of specific profile.

This way of acting led the company to obtain different certifications related to the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) in the way the software processes the data from the cameras and how its internal operations work.

Asked by SAPO TEK about whether security solutions go through video surveillance systems, in an increasingly Orwellian context, the Heptasense co-founder says that I really hope not. We don't even need that. What we want to show with the capabilities of Heptasense is that companies can improve the security and management of spaces without resorting to the violation of privacy. We just need social networks and our online life will be kept and manipulated for advertising and political purposes. We will not let the same happen in our offline life.