3D Sensors and Data Privacy

Data privacy is a complex ongoing debate that touches on many personal, legal, and political issues. As a manufacturer of sensors working in several jurisdictions, Xovis has a responsibility to clearly communicate the scope of its technologies, specifically as they apply to data privacy regulations, and the principles that guide its approach to the topic.  

Are 3D sensors cameras?

A camera can be defined in many ways, though taking photographs or making a film is generally a necessary feature of any device categorized as a camera. Our sensors are edge processing devices, meaning all computer vision processes happen in real-time on the sensor itself. Neither photographs nor motion pictures leave the sensor during operations, only anonymous x/y coordinates or defined triggers—for example someone crossing a virtual line at a door entry.   

Xovis’ award-winning 3D sensors are comprised of two optical CMOS image sensors arranged at a certain distance from each other. Stereo images compiled by the lenses are immediately converted to coordinates and timestamp data, 1s and 0s, in place of identifiable images.   

Do 3D sensors collect biometric data?

No. Biometric data is best understood as unique personal characteristics, such as fingerprints, iris scans, and facial images, that can be used to identify individuals. As an edge processing device, Xovis sensors neither collect nor store any visual data, biometric or otherwise.   

Our sensors are designed to be utilized in a way that preserves complete anonymity for all people that pass through their viewing range. They are not equipped to identify any unique personal characteristics and do not store any visual information from operations.   

Do 3D sensors store captured images?

In the pre-operational phases and within standard computer vision protocols, visual information in the form of secure, low-resolution images lacking any unique personal characteristics may be utilized to validate the sensor. Post-validation, no visual data is stored on the sensor when operated on the privacy setting recommended by Xovis.   

Can 3D sensors automatically recognize return visitors?

No. Identifying return visitors within a designated space would require identification and storage of retrievable unique personal characteristics. Presently, Xovis sensors are neither designed to nor equipped to capture such data.   

A person’s path can be captured by a sensor network only while they are within the coverage area. That path is lost once they exit the coverage area, and a new individual path is generated if/ when they re-enter it.  

Are video streams exported from 3D sensors?

No. In addition to being costly to maintain, external databases also pose a security risk that does not exist with 3D sensors. The fact that personal information is not captured, exported, or stored by edge-processing Xovis sensors bolsters the data security profile of the device. Video streams are not exported from our sensors, but authorized administrative users can, with the respective privacy setting, record snippets for remote data validation. 

What is the real value of a Xovis 3D sensor?

Using accurate data to improve processes is a practice that benefits a wide range of stakeholders,  

including the public. But optimization efforts that run afoul of privacy standards could unnecessarily diminish benefits. This is a starting point for Xovis, and one of the reasons our sensor-based solutions have become the preferred option for businesses attuned to changes in privacy expectations.  

We strongly believe those expectations can be met while also providing customers with valuable insights into how people and objects utilize their space.   

As with any technology, there exists a risk of improper use. Our internal protocols are designed to prevent any usage that might offend privacy rules. Xovis' commitment to observing privacy rules is being further developed by training and acknowledgments that memorialize our partners' observation of such regulations.