Chair: Martin Gill

Panellists:
Pauline Norstrom – CEO at Anekanta Consulting (UK)
Mohammad Rashid Khan – CEO at Calipsa (UK)
Jake Parker – Senior Director of Government Relations at Security Industry Association (US)
Nick Fisher – CEO at FaceWatch (UK)

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Key points

Nick Fisher sets the scene of the pre Covid-19 environment: crime was on increase against a background of, and perhaps because of, decreasing numbers of police officers resulting in low level crimes not being responded to. It has invited new and additional questions of those involved in buying and providing security. Yet in many cases technologies have been lacking, and those using them have lacked the expertise to do so effectively. Adding more cameras for example, when the police are unable to respond, is folly, as is, and this has happened, customers being provided with misleading information on what they can do. Yet their potential is enormous. The commoditising process has made technologies easier to operate and they can have real impacts on reducing loss and keeping people safe. You will witness Nick warn that there is a misconception that technologies make decisions which they do not, they are merely an enabling tool for humans which the public are beginning to understand. It is important they do, the long-term credibility of security technologies depends on that.

Mohammad Rashid Khan notes that those who own and manage companies have a responsibility to educate the art of the possible from technology and be realistic and honest about it, not all are. In deploying technology he highlights the crucial importance of understanding the pros and cons of what it can do, and then sharing that with stakeholders. Again, not all do, some technologies are mis sold. He reminds suppliers that whatever is done will be talked about and news travels fast.

He talks about the transition taking place to technology helping to prevent crime before it takes place, made more possible when set in the context of smart buildings. He predicts technology will never replace people, that is not its purpose, a theme that is reiterated throughout the webinar.

You will witness Jake Parker, whose network includes global manufacturers and integrators, attempt to separate what he sees as the myths from the realities of technologies and facial recognition in particular. He discusses specific jurisdictions in the US that have banned public sector use of the surveillance, and provides an explanation as to why banning this technology is misplaced, noting in particular that it is misunderstood, that not all systems are the same and branding all types of facial recognition under one umbrella is to lead to restrictions that deny a valuable tool to be deployed in some settings. Privacy concerns are very real and you will hear Jakes note that the current situation has led to an issue of trust with some parties which still needs to be bridged.

Pauline Norstrom focusses on AI. As she says it has been used for decades to help people make decisions. In more recent times the development of deep learning tools,  faster and more reliable comms, and an avalanche of data has raised concerns, but as you will hear her say, in some quarters more than others. At least part of the issue is that some parts of the security sector have not acted with due diligence and deployed software that was not bias free which has had to be withdrawn; and others have not fully engaged with clients about its true benefits and pitfalls. She points to the lack of diversity in the development stage. She also points to gaps in the governance framework, and to the EU where remedies are on offer that take account of issues such as transparency and society well-being.

This webinar confronts some of the issues facing the wider deployment of security technologies. It meets head on the privacy issues and the need to better delineate between what is available as well as the need for better governance and greater professionalism in some parts of the security sector. Technology has much potential of course, but trust in it has been undermined and this cannot go unchallenged, and for that the sector needs to look internally as well as externally.