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Title    Ontario City Cancels Video Recording and Microsoft Analysis
Date    Friday June 30 2017, @05:32AM
Author    martyb
from the Slightly-Smaller-Brother dept.

Appalbarry writes:

A small Victory in Hamilton, Ontario where the City has backed off on plans to start recording all of the various security and traffic cameras in the city; handing the video over to Microsoft for analysis. Local city hall watching site The Public Record pointed out that this plan would likely run afoul of Ontario's privacy legislation, and convinced the City not to go ahead with the plan.

The City announced in early June that it would begin transferring video to Microsoft for analysis.

Microsoft is working to build software which recognizes cars, bus, trucks, bicycles, and pedestrians. Using the video, and crowd sourced analysis, Microsoft hoped to improve its software for detecting near collisions.

The City hoped to use the software to gain insight into intersections which could use design improvements to decrease the number and severity of collisions as part of its "Vision Zero" efforts.

Immediately upon learning the City would be recording video from the intersection cameras, The Public Record looked into the privacy implications of the recording.

The Privacy Commissioner replied "We encourage institutions to consult our publication, Guidelines for the Use of Video Surveillance (pdf), and our Video Surveillance (pdf)fact sheet, which outline important issues to consider when implementing video surveillance technologies and how to use them in ways that protect individual privacy. Since the City's project also seems to include 'analytics' of video data, you may also be interested in our publication, Big Data Guidelines (pdf), which addresses the issue of data analytics and privacy."

So, it appears that you can fight City Hall!

Original Submission


  1. "Appalbarry" -
  2. "The Public Record" -
  3. "Guidelines for the Use of Video Surveillance (pdf)" -
  4. "Video Surveillance (pdf)" -
  5. "Big Data Guidelines (pdf)" -
  6. "Original Submission" -

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