How Are Transport Operators Protecting Passenger Privacy?


July 2021


Dr Kerstin Wendt

Discover the ways that public transport protects the privacy of passengers throughout their journey.

Dr Kerstin Wendt shares some of the major developments in public transport surveillance that improve passenger privacy.

Automatic facial redaction

Automated facial redaction lets control room staff select people of interest (flagged by watch-list scanning for instance) while automatically concealing the faces of everybody else. By detecting and masking all other faces in shot, this better protects individuals who are not relevant to the nature of the footage request or investigation.

Integrated access administration

With the ability to achieve greater systems interoperability, today's surveillance systems allow for more tailored system access and permission rights. By integrating directly with HR systems, for example, supervisors can closely guard who has access to the data and automatically update user permissions.

Automated activity logging and auditing

Automated activity logging creates full, and easily reportable, audit trails of user activity. Any data misuse is easily traced back to the source helping to maintain best practices around data processing.

Anonymised personal data

Statistics are necessary for transport operators and authorities to improve services and products. Transport operators automatically redact and anonymise passenger data based on its age, access rights, and the organisation that it’s planned to be shared with.

Real-time anonymisation

This is a great way for some operators to ensure they only monitor what is necessary. Command and control software can now anonymise visual and audio streams in real time. Faces are automatically detected and blurred out or random noise is inserted in audio streams until certain criteria is met. These privacy-preserving mechanisms also save time and effort in post-processing evidence.