Terrain Dominance – The civil aspect: Crowd control at huge events

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The horror scenario of evacuating tens of thousands of residents living near hazardous materials facilities, refineries or military industries requires an immediate control capabilities for security forces, rescue and medical services for moving masscrowds from place to place.

Events of such importance require force commanders across various rescue forces to have the ability to instantly recognize the general trends of the crowd whether they may be walking or driving, the speed of movement, the amount of people (mass population) and other details, especially of statistical locations in relation to the threats, so basically the “big picture”.

These events do not need require specific information about each person but only general trends for emergency organizations are required. They must have the “big picture” in order to allocate tasks and resources so statistics data is essential crowd control.

One of the options of giving a lot of relevant information to government bodies and emergency services is based on the cell phone, which of course can now be found in the pocket of almost every man and woman. The technology described below ignores the device type, generation, provider and year of production as well as technology.

All mobile phones transmits to the closest base station all of the time, this is information which is absorbed through the core cellular network, and then associated by the relevant operators (Pelephone, Cellcom Hot Mobile etc.). This anonymous information can be decoded by technological systems capable of high data processing and through real-time visual representation.

This is considered qualitative information of the population and is stored as predefined cell areas by the system operator, whether a phone call is taking place or someone is browsing or on hold. In these technological systems more statistical information is piped in which includes, among other things, relevant demographics (population segmentation), geography (routes, roads, land-based obstacles, etc.), and many more different types of data. At the end of the process the engineering systems “learn” all the data can be extracted from the system (which usually is developed, maintained and operated by third parties).

The technology behind these information systems – based on models and algorithms from the fields of exact sciences and the great advantage is the integration of information into static and dynamic displays which is accessible, adaptable, efficient and unique.

Among the security applications within the system, with a special focus on “homeland security” an assessments included of the amount of crowd in certain areas, routes of escape or illegal entry of refugees or infiltrators, control and supervision of mass events are planned (demonstrations, concerts, sporting events) or unplanned (population evacuation in a disaster zone, spontaneous demonstrations, mass natural disasters)

To activate the system it does not require a deep technical understanding and is intended for use by emergency services as 911, war rooms and control center.

In the interest of individual freedom and security of personal information arising from using the system that of course relies on statistical information, it is interesting to mention a few facts:
The main and essential point of Verizon’s response is that the use of information of its users, mobile and internet in general, is legitimate since it is collected anonymously and served as information centered on a large population of users.

* Science and Technology comity of the Israeli Knesset:

“… Despite the illusion of privacy, we are leaving adigital footprint as we surf.

Location data is some of the most personal information. As mentioned above, the integration of location data with other personal information can lead to enhanced penetration of a person’s privacy.

On the other hand, the concept of privacy itself currently has a social, cultural and commercial value. These emphasize the benefits of the waiver of privacy for the end user as an individual, and the market as a whole.

“The legislator and the regulator has the responsibility to find a balance between user needs and the needs of the private market. On the face there is a built-in contradiction between the desire of corporates to know everything about their users and the users’ habits.

In practice, the picture is more complex because there are different types of users, those who are not prepared to give away their rights to privacy and those who are willing to give it up due to the considerable benefits they derive from it “

* Knesset Research and Information Center, “preservation and use of location data smart mobile devices”