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NOVA | Zeroing in on Surveillance Video

Stashed in: Privacy does not exist., intel, National Security

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Revealing Patterns

Mordechai Kedar, a former Israeli military intelligence officer, says the technology offers an enormous benefit for investigators. Beyond simply shortening time, it reveals patterns of behavior.

"I'm looking for anybody who doesn't behave like the others," he said. "Let's say if you come to a situation in which you have half percent of the people behaving not in the usual way, it's a big advantage. You don't have to look at 99.5 percent of the people."

Law enforcement agencies around the world have purchased the technology, according to executives at BriefCam. They say authorities in Norway used the software following the shooting and bombing attacks by Anders Breivik, who killed dozens of people in 2011. Company officials suspect the software was also used by authorities in the United States after the Boston Marathon bombings in April.

As for Professor Peleg, he said he is pleased that his software is being used for law enforcement, but he does not think that fighting terrorism will be the real driver of the technology.

He explained that business owners use BriefCam's technology to keep an eye on their buildings and parking lots, and supermarkets use it to track the flow of customers in their stores. Peleg added that the software can also be used at home to enhance videos of new babies, pets, and elderly parents—or simply to shorten the time required for sitting through family videos in their entirety.

"I'll be much happier if more people use it for more daily cases rather than terrorism," he said.

There is no privacy. Was there ever?

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