It's great to see people trying to address the privacy vs. security question with new solutions instead of complaints on either side. Today, video surveillance is not particularly private nor effective, and we really need both. A new technology developed by researchers at the University of Toronto adds a sort of face blur filter to security video that can be reversed with a decryption key. So, the faces of the innocent remain fuzzy and out-of-focus, while investigators zero in on suspects.
The University of Toronto tech was most likely at least partially motivated by changes in Canadian privacy laws. Even without such laws, technology like this is important and certainly helps to address the privacy issue. At 3VR we are currently working on our own privacy enhancing technologies that also incorporate advanced facial recognition techniques. The technology helps to hide the faces of the innocent while at the same time identifying bad guys, providing a solution that gives equal weight to privacy and security, which is something I think should be at the center of any city surveillance deployment.