Irish consortium selected for ‘smart cities’ project in Sweden

Video-redaction software developed by Noppera-Bo Technologies designed to help GDPR compliance

A consortium of Irish companies has been chosen to work on a project to help Swedish local authorities redact identifiable information from CCTV and video.

Castlebridge and Altada announced that technology developed by their joint venture company Noppera-Bo Technologies Ltd will be used in a project "to ensure the roll out and deployment of 'smart city' systems can be implemented in a manner that meets the increasingly stringent requirements of data protection legislation in the EU".

Smart city technologies are designed to provide detailed information about how cities function and they typically deploy cameras and sensors that can process personal information about identifiable individuals.

This project will be led by Castlebridge’s Swedish partner, Think Privacy AB, with input from the consulting team in Castlebridge and the technology development teams in Altada and Noppera-Bo Technologies.

Noppera-Bo Technologies has developed a product that uses advanced machine learning to simplify the process of redacting identifiable information from CCTV or other video sources.

It provides AI-assisted automation of processing to allow data controllers to either redact fully from video or to select an individual in recording who should be left identifiable, for example in the context of a data subject access request under GDPR.

The company said its algorithms and processes do not use “off the shelf” application programming interfaces, but had been designed “from the ground up in line with privacy by design principles”.

Castlebridge managing director and chief executive of Noppera-Bo Technologies, Daragh O Brien, said: "Castlebridge icctvdentified the need for effective and cost-effective redaction technologies under GDPR over three years ago and we have worked with our technology partners in Altada to develop video redaction technologies that are not simply reusing commercially licensed APIs but have been engineered from the ground up to be privacy enhancing.

“This project will give us the opportunity to develop our product further for the world of Internet of Things in a cityscape context, a potential application we identified early on through Castlebridge’s consulting and training work with local authorities.”

Allan Beechinor, chief executive of Altada and CTO of Noppera-Bo Technologies said it was "a great opportunity to push the technology we are developing to meet one of a number of use cases for this technology".

Alexander Hanff, chief executive of ThinkPrivacy AB said it was great to be able to take innovation from Ireland and match it to needs in another EU member state.

“We were delighted when we learned our colleagues in Castlebridge had been working with Altada on a solution in this space. We are looking forward to setting the standard for these types of technologies to ensure proper balancing of privacy rights with the benefits of IoT and sensors in smart cities,” he said.

Among the factors considered in the evaluation and selection of companies for the project were technical competence, experience in data privacy and data protection at a strategic level, and gender diversity on the project teams.