The Shuttercam project originated based on the notion that people do not know if and when cameras in public space are recording or not. We wondered: would people like to live in a city where all city cameras clearly show or state when they’re not in use? What if, just like laptop shutters many people have placed over their webcam, this could be a way to make clear to citizens when a camera is not recording them?

For this project, at first a time lapse camera at the office of AMS Institute was outfitted with a shutter. Subsequently, the effects of this small-scale pilot were examined by interviewing staff and visitors. Currently, there are three Shuttercam prototypes tested at Marineterrein Amsterdam Living Lab(MALL). 

We are exploring if the cameras within this project could become part of the crowd monitoring system by the City of Amsterdam, which is a privacy friendly system.

A crowd monitoring system works with a camera that has an algorithm read out and analyzes video images. In addition to measuring crowds and displaying those crowds in usable numbers, the algorithm can also determine whether people keep a distance of 1.5 meters. All this is done in an anonymous manner that naturally complies with all privacy legislation.

The video images are not watched by a human but are processed automatically. Only a few frames are saved with unrecognizable, blurred people's faces. Those frames help to "train" the algorithm. Furthermore, the images are not saved.

The camera’s within this project are registered on the City of Amsterdam’s Privacy map. This map shows where the City of Amsterdam collects data in public space and for which purposes. Here you can also find the corresponding Privacy statement.

Click here to read more about the Shuttercam project.

Source: Responsible Sensing Lab - Shuttercam

Image credits

Header image: Shuttercam1 | copyright: Sjoerd Ponstein

Icon image: Shuttercam - Gemeente Amsterdam