Sales for smart devices are increasing. These devices are installed in your home, or even carried with you 24 hours a day. Have you ever thought about how much of your private life you are giving away to 3rd parties and do you know what happens with that data?

This year, we are breaking the barrier of 10 billion active IoT devices and 1 billion surveillance cameras in public spaces (half of which in China). You may be aware that images from surveillance cameras are analyzed, but do you also know that “smart” IoT devices send a lot of information about you and your family to the cloud? You reveal a lot more information about yourself than you usually realize. Robot vacuum cleaners create a map of your home to navigate and then continuously send it to (usually) China. Smart lamps know exactly when you are at home or when you are within range of your WiFi network. But beware, very often you consciously give away your personal details for a few euros discount. Think of a bonus card from your supermarket.

Rob Wijnhoven

Rob Wijnhoven (1979) is CTO at ViNotion, specialized in intelligent image analysis. He is responsible for the technology in the company’s products and solutions. He obtained his Master’s degree in Electrical Engineering and performed his PhD research on object recognition at Eindhoven University of Technology. Rob regularly lectures on the application of artificial intelligence for the interpretation of traffic scenes with pedestrians, bicyclists and motorized traffic. He has (co)authored dozens of scientific publications and enjoys collaboration with academic researchers.

Analysis of data

Artificial Intelligence enables companies such as Apple, Amazon, Facebook and Google to analyze collected data. Think of automatic interpretation of audio, image and video clips, but also recognizing social circles in data from messaging services such as WhatsApp and TikTok. To ensure that companies handle all this personal data carefully, and only collect and store this data to a limited extent, Europe has introduced the GDPR (in the Netherlands: AVG) regulation in 2018. Despite the fact that this legislation restricts the use of personal data, detection of abuse is often only possible by whistleblowers. Since its inception, incompliance with the GDPR has resulted in fines with a total value of around 550 million euros (in Europe alone. A recent example is a 120 million euro fine for Google. Moreover, governments are starting to explicitly ban the use of facial recognition systems, such as already the case in California and Portland.

Analysis at ViNotion

Unlike the giant internet companies, ViNotion is not interested in personal data. Thanks to the privacy-by-design paradigm, our smart traffic analysis systems cannot be abused to retrieve your personal data. Our smart cameras with artificial intelligence only distinguish between pedestrians, cyclists and vehicles. Every road user is seen as “a” person or “a” vehicle. Analysis data can never be traced back to unique persons so identification is not possible. In addition, no images are stored and no facial recognition and audio analysis are applied. As a company, we comply with the ISO 27001 certification for data security. Privacy and security are of paramount importance at ViNotion. The measurement data from our systems is used to perform traffic surveys and to control real-time traffic control systems, so that you arrive safely at your destination and do not unnecessarily have to wait for red traffic lights.