At Geckomatics we take privacy concerns very seriously. When in doubt, by default we choose more protection rather than the legal minimum. It is in our company DNA that technology should serve humanity and improve our quality of life. To us, privacy is crucial and we will go out of our way to protect it.
While many organisations are fearing the requirements and enforcement of the GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) we actually applaud it. Privacy is a human right we do not want to compromise on. Even though our technology is used to film in the public space, we feel it should not be used to identify individuals.
For mobile mapping this poses particular challenges. The general principle of GDPR states that data subjects should opt in to their data being stored. That is true for every business – as a citizen your data is not allowed to be stored unless you explicitly consent to it.
Mobile mapping by Geckomatics is done using video technology recorded in the public space. Inevitably persons may be in the background. It will never happen that persons are being zoomed in on or singled out. However, concerns about privacy are still important.
There are a number of measures Geckomatics is taking to deal with this.
First of all, persons are not the subject of filming – video is invariably made in order to produce information about assets in the public space. These could be signposts, advertising space, street furniture, trees, potholes and so on, that need to be documented and mapped. Because of this, our hardware uses fixed wide angle lenses that are designed to take in a lot of information. Our lenses cannot zoom in to subjects and pedestrians are usually quite small in the image.
Even so, we absolutely want to minimize the risk of recognition. For that reason we use state of the art software that automatically blurs faces.
Due to technical limitations, no software can guarantee to detect 100% of faces in video. While we are pretty close, we make no false promises on that and we want to be completely transparent to you. This means there is a tiny possibility that a human operator, by coincidence, finds a recognisable face. For those cases there is a button in our software to blur the image manually.
Finally, imagery is not published nor publicly available. It is stored for mapping projects by our customers for a limited time. Users need a license to have access to our software to navigate the data. The number of persons who can access the data, which is anonymized, is therefore limited.
Should you be concerned that you have been filmed by Geckomatics customers, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org stating the date and address at the time. We will take your concern seriously and get back to you within reasonable time.
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