When considering the use of Body Worn Cameras as a way of reducing the risk to workers, many organisations focus on the camera features. In this article, Chris Allcard from Reliance Protect encourages organisations to look beyond this and consider the wider issue of management of the media created.
It’s not just about camera features!
Whilst it is certainly true that body worn cameras have become more sophisticated over time, offering higher resolution images, better low light performance, Wi-Fi and 4G connectivity, and better battery life in a smaller form, the biggest differences between the old and new camera device solutions are not immediately obvious.
Accessing and controlling your video
Whilst older generation cameras may still ‘do the job’, typically there are several drawbacks associated with the handling and management of the videos created by these cameras that cause massive headaches by wasting time, adding information security risks and complexity, and increasing the cost of handling and using video.
One major challenge for those relying on old body worn cameras is the difficulty of getting video footage off the devices in the first place and the risks associated with the process. This is typically a lengthy, manual, and often fiddly operation that involves docking the unit with a dedicated PC. Depending on the number of cameras and the amount of video footage you create, this can become a massive task!
Or maybe the opposite is true? You can plug the cameras into any PC and access the media files.
Either way, any PC that then houses these videos presents a potential information security risk in that anyone with access to that PC could have access to the video recordings. Likewise, the videos may be held on a server. Could the person who recorded the video footage have access to it to edit or delete it? How do you control who can access the video for editing, deletion, sharing, and distributing? This is potentially difficult to control and have an audit trail of who accessed and what they did with that video. Does this fit in with your GDPR and information security policies and procedures?
Reliance Protect’s VideoManager cloud-based video management system gives organisations far more control over the videos created. Utilising VideoManager with body worn cameras ensures the end-to-end process of creating video recordings, and the uploading and storage of these files are fully encrypted. Access to the video footage is via VideoManager and has a permission-based approach allowing organisations to tightly control access, editing, and deletion rights.
VideoManger can be accessed securely from desktops, laptops, smartphones, and tablets, and storage is cloud-based. Cloud storage is easily scalable, GDPR compliant and secure, and resilient. It’s not held on local computers, servers, or digital video recorders which may require backups, ongoing virus protection, software upgrades, etc.
Another problem that users of older body worn camera solutions systems face concerns the ease – or not – of sharing and editing video that their cameras capture. With little, if any built-in editing functionality, editing is often performed on separate software, by a third party at a cost. This requires the media to be shared with the third party which in itself introduces information security risks. A robust data sharing agreement, that is regularly audited and managed, is a must-have in this scenario.
With Reliance Protect’s VideoManager portal, editing is simple so there’s no need to send files away to be processed. Redaction, editing, and image enhancement are all easy, and the resulting files can be saved to the cloud, along with the master copy, and shared with any authorities that require access through a secure link. Each step is fully audited. What’s more, VideoManager also allows users to bring different sources of video together, combining footage from body worn cameras, fixed CCTV cameras, and even smartphones to provide the widest possible ‘view’ of an incident or event.
Reliance Protect has been a core partner and supporter since the beginning of Lone Worker Safety Live back in 2018. As well as continuously developing the traditional lone worker safety solutions, Reliance Protect has developed a range body worn camera solutions with live stream monitoring options. They will be demonstrating their range of body worn cameras and VideoManager portal at this year’s event and look forward to discussing how they can help and support organisations manage the safety and wellbeing of their staff.
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