Pimloc raises $7.5M seed round for privacy-preserving surveillance footage AI
London-based Pimloc, whose Secure Redact product automatically blurs faces and license plates in surveillance footage, has raised a seed round of $7.5 million as investors believe regulation and concern over privacy will require more tools for handling surveillance video.
The round was led by Zetta Venture Partners. Existing investor Amadeus Capital Partners participated again, joined by Speedinvest.
Pimloc states that as video surveillance hardware and software, including visual AI, are becoming increasingly sophisticated, regulation and awareness of data privacy are also developing.
The Secure Redact SaaS or API uses visual AI to anonymize surveillance video to preserve citizens’ privacy, while maintaining the utility of the footage for security and data analytics purposes. The company website claims it is ten times faster than traditional approaches using human operators.
“Large public and private-sector entities have huge amounts of video data that they can’t use or share without running into privacy issues,” comments Mark Gorenberg, managing director at Zetta Venture Partners.
“Depending on where they’re operating, protecting PII in video is either already a legal requirement or it inevitably will become a legal requirement. Pimloc’s solution already makes this practical.”
Pimloc’s products reportedly allow entities to provide video evidence that complies with data privacy regulations, and the announcement mentions codes such as GDPR and the California Consumer Privacy Act. Video-taped CCTV footage was once wiped over with new recordings, but now footage can be kept indefinitely thanks to cheap storage and retrieval, allowing footage to be repeatedly reviewed by biometric AI software such as facial and emotional recognition.
“It will be used – but it will also be abused,” comments Simon Randall, CEO at Pimloc, as footage is accessed for ever more reasons such as marketing and finance. Entities are responding by increasing their own standards beyond even the legal requirements.
“We’re seeing companies around the world setting the bar for data privacy at GDPR compliance, even if they’re operating in areas where it’s not the law.”
Sergeant Jason Druckenmiller of Oregon, Ohio explained a law enforcement application of AI video redaction software with face detection that he uses to Biometric Update in 2020.