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Case Study: Surveillance Discovery

Surveillance Discovery has grown to become a premier surveillance review agency
September 28, 2022
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Established in 2020, Surveillance Discovery has grown to become a premier surveillance review agency in the United States. 

Surveillance Discovery delivers intelligent surveillance services to the legal and law enforcement sectors by employing artificial intelligence to automate the review, security, and privacy of confidential information. This data is used to accelerate investigations while keeping the integrity of the assets in place as they may be used in the legal system. 

After being taken through a live demo, Surveillance Discovery CEO Joe Mann decided that Sighthound Redactor's automated video redaction software would be ideal for helping his company meet its partnered agencies' expectations.

“Due to the sensitive nature of our business it is important we use the best technology that delivers high accuracy redaction and supports the privacy regulations surrounding our business. Sighthound Redactor gives us the confidence to not only manage video assets but also be extremely efficient as speed is a differentiator in our business.” - Surveillance Discovery CEO Joe Mann


Surveillance Discovery's mandate involves leveraging surveillance data to accelerate investigations, protecting personally identifiable (PII) information and keeping communities safe. 

The company’s discovery and protection services use AI to automate the review of gathered intelligence and make sure it is stored and shared within privacy compliance requirements.

Two people sitting over a tablet that is augmented by vr data.

Managing strict data privacy regulations is not new to Discovery Surveillance but these regulations are continuing to get more complex in the US. For example, video footage collected by CCTV cameras do require safe handling and redaction is a powerful and efficient way to adhere to privacy requirements.

The Challenge

Surveillance Discovery’s analysts evaluate and analyze data from an exploding range  of sources. Since data is inherently sensitive, including privileged and secret information, a strong mix of human and machine intelligence is required for analysis and security.

As such, Surveillance Discovery needed an easy-to-use, high-quality solution that could anonymize images and videos. Sighthound Redactor's auto redaction feature provides the quickest and easiest means to guarantee that all collected data follows the standards set by the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) and other state regulations like CPRA, CCPA, CDPA.

Why Surveillance Discovery Chose Sighthound Redactor

Reviewing its data privacy mandates and internal policies, Surveillance Discovery made the executive decision to use redaction technologies when cataloging or releasing a video containing personally identifying information (PII). 

If video footage contains sufficient data to identify an individual, GDPR rules for personal data processing must be applied. While GDPR has set a global precedent that expands beyond EU borders, there is an increasing amount of legislation putting US companies on notice to communicate, protect, and dispose of data that includes personal information.

Considering that Sighthound is one of the few companies that provides a video redaction system that allows users to automatically redact faces, people, vehicles, and license plates and video while allowing additional manual editing tools to be leveraged by their team who add additional value to the redaction process. Sighthound’s video redaction software was a perfect fit for the company's requirements.

Sighthound Redactor is a powerful tool for eliminating personally identifying information (PII) such as faces and vehicle plates from video recordings (precisely what Surveillance Discovery needed). This ensures that the unit satisfies all of the data protection rules.

Surveillance Discovery concluded that the software would offer excellent protection for observed subjects. Joe was particularly surprised by the fact that all of the videos were stored in a central location and that the software was very user-friendly and supportive of their time-sensitive deadlines 

Surveillance Discovery prides itself on leveraging the best methods and technologies when providing its services and sees a similar commitment in Sighthound to continually improve its AI models to identify and redact private information in video. 

A consultation with a redaction specialist and a demonstration were both easily scheduled for Joe. The organization chose Sighthound Redactor as its redaction solution after being sufficiently impressed by its features and performance.

“My mind was blown within a few minutes of the demo. Sighthound understands my business. After discussing my challenges, we reviewed real-world sample videos with varying degrees of light, motion, etc. in Redactor. I can say with confidence that this software is at least four to five times more effective than the redaction tool we used before.”    - Surveillance Discovery CEO Joe Mann

How Surveillance Discovery used Redactor

With Sighthound Redactor, the Surveillance Discovery team could automatically remove any identifying information from video footage. This was the most obvious benefit that the organization saw from using the software.

In addition, Surveillance Discovery was able to :

  • Employ a straightforward tool which any analyst could be trained to use
  • Speed up their process without sacrificing accuracy
  • Meet all regulatory requirements by offering protection of personal information through the integration of access control and security protocols.
  • Make use of software with excellent processing power, high accuracy and low latency.
  • Use several options for redaction, such as blur, pixelate, and mosaic, among others.
Sighthound Redactor has been our go-to redaction software for the last few months, and in that time, we have witnessed a massive decline in redaction time.  - Surveillance Discovery CEO Joe Mann
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