Facial blur blurring out more than just the face/body.

  • 3 March 2023
  • 2 replies

Badge +1

Hey all, 

I wanted to reach out to see if anyone else is having issues with the facial/body blur that is implemented? We’ve ran into issues where some blurs blur well too much area(1) or blurs something that resembles nothing like a face(2). 

Example of problem #1: The face is blurred, the body is blurred, but so is approximately 30-40% of the image where there is no individual.

Example of problem #2: Some structures and piles get blurred in some images but not all.

Feel free to share other issues you have ran into when it comes to the facial/body blur.

2 replies

We had a similar issue, our EHS guys were complaining that they could not review PPE compliance with the level of blurring in the system. 

Userlevel 5

Hello Marcus & Brendan, 

I hope you are both well! I would like to share additional data behind the face blurring feature as it exists today. 

OpenSpace takes data protection and people's privacy very seriously and we’re committed to complying with data protection laws. This note is to provide information regarding OpenSpace’s face blurring feature and our compliance with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), in partnership with our customers. The GDPR creates consistent data protection rules across the EU.

Face blurring and GDPR compliance details:

  • Shared responsibility: GDPR compliance principles are a shared responsibility between the data controller (the customer) and OpenSpace (the data processor).

  • OpenSpace de-identification, or face blurring: To help reduce the collection of personally identifiable information (PII), customers may contact OpenSpace Support to turn on our face blurring feature. When activated, this feature detects faces in all future captures. When it can identify a recognizable face, the face and the rest of the body will be blurred in the image. By doing so, we render the likenesses of persons in imagery statistically unrecognized to a reasonable average viewer. While this process is very accurate using advanced machine learning algorithms that identify the likenesses of a generic person, it does not identify specific faces or individuals, and the false-negative rate is not zero. The purpose of de-identification is to reduce attack surface, not eliminate all in-scope data from the system.

  • Possibility of false negatives: If a face is not blurred, that usually means the facial recognition cannot make out a face due to circumstances on the image, such as distortion, pixelation, surgical masks, or other obstructions to the face. This is a normal result of the machine learning algorithms we use to detect a person. We tune our models to reduce both false negatives and false positives to deliver a superior service to customers, but in doing so, some likenesses, although statistically unrecognizable, may still appear unblurred and recognizable to viewers who have knowledge of the subject or the environment

  • Possibility of false positives: If parts of the image are blurred where faces do not exist, that usually means the facial recognition incorrectly identified a face where there was not one. This is a normal result of the machine learning algorithms we use to detect a person. We tune our models to reduce both false positives and false negatives to deliver a superior service to customers, but in doing so, some objects or aspects of images captured may be blurred incorrectly. In these cases, our recommendation is to advance forward or backward one single frame in your capture to see if adjacent frames, only a half-second apart, do not exhibit the same false positive. In most cases, there will be a frame in your capture that does not.

  • Customer responsibility and best practices: The customer is responsible for obtaining permission from data subjects. For example, the customer can post a notice that 360° photo documentation will be taking place and efforts will be taken to de-identify facial recognition. Also, the  customer can take actions when capturing images to prevent or limit the collection of data from data subjects, such as capturing during non-work hours when fewer people might be on the job location.

We hope this information helps answer any questions and minimizes any concerns about what may be perceived as an error on our face blurring feature (but in actuality is caused by the reasons listed above). Also, note that we’ve shared with our product team that adding the ability for customers to manually edit blur information would be of great value, and they are reviewing the possibility of this enhancement.

Feel free to reach out with any questions. Also, for more information on the OpenSpace Privacy Policy, please click here.