Monitoring of public and private sites has increasingly become a very sensitive issue resulting in a patchwork of privacy laws varying from country to country -though all aimed at protecting the privacy of the citizen. It is important to remember, however, that monitoring and vi sual surveillance capabilities can also be employed to aid the citizen. The focus of current development is primarily aimed at public and cor porate safety applications including the monitoring of railway stations, airports, and inaccessible or dangerous environments. Future research effort, however, has already targeted citizen-oriented applications such as monitoring assistants for the aged and infirm, route-planning and congestion-avoidance tools, and a range of environment al monitoring applications. The latest generation of surveillance systems has eagerly adopted re cent technological developments to produce a fully digital pipeline of digital image acquisition, digital data transmission and digital record ing. The resultant surveillance products are highly-fiexihle, capahle of generating forensic-quality imagery, and ahle to exploit existing Internet and wide area network services to provide remote monitoring capability.
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