Security systems have a privacy problem. Some of the limitations of radar and camera technology are leading to costly false negative or false positive readings at the expense of not only the users, but a public that is calling for more effective, equitable protection. 

By supplementing radar and camera security systems with LiDAR, security leaders can bolster security operations while fulfilling the public demand for more thoughtful security practices. It is crucial that security technology help ensure equity and privacy.

Security technology and data privacy

Tech giants like Microsoft and IBM have already backed away from facial recognition technologies for use by law enforcement. A federal study released in 2019 showed that facial recognition systems in their current state disproportionately misidentified people of color when used for functions as basic as airport boarding or unlocking a cell phone. This prompted lawmakers to turn their attention to legacy security systems and how they have exacerbated problems involving racial profiling. Think tanks and NGOs are asking Congress to implement federal restrictions on the use of police and government surveillance technologies, making the case that data privacy is imperative for communities of color.

Companies that use surveillance in their spaces must stay ahead of new privacy standards while incorporating the most advanced security technology. This will strengthen data protection and foster the public’s trust.

One security technology that may help reach these privacy goals is LiDAR technology, which can track people and objects while preserving anonymity. The LiDAR surveillance method is staying ahead of regulations, affecting both the public and private sectors. LiDAR is not just advancing security technology; it is answering the demand for better privacy and equity.

The LiDAR difference

Reliance on camera-only systems is already becoming a thing of the past. 2D imaging sometimes struggles to deliver in low light, leading to optical illusions and the misguided use of facial recognition. While some companies have begun to replace or supplement security cameras with radar technology, this action can still result in the footage lacking detail in low-light or low-contrast conditions and struggling to classify the correct objects of interest.

When LiDAR sensors are used for security, they generate real-time 3D maps with customizable digital boundaries, allowing users to see up to 360 degrees. When users identify a defined perimeter breach, LiDAR-based systems can accurately classify and track objects using centimeter-level distance measurement data, which works in a wider variety of light conditions than its predecessors.

Threat detection can become more accurate and used in real time. This real-time information allows managers of airports, roadways and other private and public spaces to take preventative measures when they see potential risks. This ability not only reduces the time, cost and inconvenience that can result from false response monitoring, but it can also improve safety and address problems before they worsen.

Security technology has the ability to recognize people and objects with precision without collecting identifiable biometric data, such as skin tone or facial features. Security teams can decrease profiling and safeguard privacy while also improving safety. LiDAR is leading the next generation of security that addresses the shortcomings of past technologies. With great innovation comes great responsibility — to use the best tools to protect the public in all ways, from security to safety to equity.