Homeland Security: Privacy Protecting Video Surveillance

  • Cheung, Sen-Ching (PI)
  • Yang, Ruigang (CoI)
  • Jaynes, Christopher (Former CoI)
  • Nistér, David (Former CoI)

Grants and Contracts Details


Abstract Recent widespread deployment and increased sophistication of video surveillance systems have raised many concerns on their potential threats to individuals' right of privacy. Thus far, there is no comprehensive solution, at both the technology and policy levels, on how privacy can be protected in video surveillance. The goals of this project are to develop the necessary technologies to protect privacy of individuals without compromising the benefits brought forth by modem video surveillance, and to study the public-policy aspect of how the privacy technologies can be applied and enforced. The main deliverable of this project is an indoor video surveillance system that can protect privacy by modifying the appearance of selected subjects (authorized personnel) in the video without any noticeable artifacts, and can simultaneously preserve the original imagery in a completely secure manner so that the modification process, given proper authorization, can be reversed. There are three main research objectives that we plan to address in the course of building such a system. First, we will develop vision algorithms that can accurately detect, locate and segment moving objects in video obtained from a large-scale surveillance network. Second, we will evaluate and develop video modification algorithms that can erase or replace objects in video with scenes that are consistent with the rest of the spatio-temporal space. Third, we will investigate the use of watermarking to securely embed the privacy information directly into the surveillance video. Complementary to our technological development, our collaborators at Morehead State University will lead a research study on the important constitutional and federalism policy dimensions of privacy and the conduct of technology issues, as well as establish focus groups and training sessions to evaluate the developed technologies for privacy protection.
Effective start/end date7/1/0512/31/09


  • Eastern Kentucky University: $694,613.00


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