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System to protect privacy on your system when the presence of an extraneous person is detected

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000178908D
Original Publication Date: 2009-Jan-29
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2009-Jan-29
Document File: 3 page(s) / 35K

Publishing Venue



Imagine you are opening or reading a confidential document or you are chatting with your boss about your salary increment or with a person you have known on Internet, and a colleague of you (or your familiar or any person not entitled to see your activity) comes on your side and s/he can look at the screen seeing data or activity that you want to maintain confidential. Or you leave your PC unattended and other people try to use it. This would be a problem for your privacy you'd like to manage. The idea is to have a system able to identify an extraneous presence other than the allowed user and to inhibit any 'private' activity, as for example preventing popup from chat software systems, or hiding the contents of confidential document or video play, or preventing from opening a not allowed document, on the system itself.

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System to protect privacy on your system when the presence of an extraneous person is detected

Disclosed is a system described with the following schema :


    The system is composed of a PC, and a Webcam or any digital camera (1) connected to the PC, a Processing System (2), an Identity database (3) containing the list of people with their digital photos stored in, it could be remote (example IBM Blue pages) or local and a Policy database
(4) containing information about different privacy profiles (could be related to the locality where the system is running (home, office, external)) and actions to be taken to protect privacy on the system. The user can use shots and/or GPS positions to add in the Location database (5) the current location and define it as SECURE or INSECURE so that the Policy database can use the location's data to apply policies. Also it permits a dynamic integration with data to have a smart way to customize our preferences according with Company policies.

The system works in 2 different modes:

1) Recording Mode

In this mode the webcam (1) is turned on to record the background (BG) that will be used as matching pattern for the Active mode. The recorded BGs are the default secure environment and are stored in the Location db (5). The BG will be used to identify if the location is secure, insecure or unattended and trigger the related Active mode. In this phase also the


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computer owner is identified in the Identity db (3).

2) Active Mode

In this mode the webcam (1) is always on and it is able to detect that the BG recorded before has changed. The Processing system (2) receive the new image and is able (using a well known image matching algorithms) to compare it with the BGs stored in the Policy db (4). The system is able to adapt to the different situations that could now arise:

a) Secure: The BG identifies a secure environment (office) and there is the computer owner sits in front of the computer, so nothing to do. The Processing system (2) receives the new image and is able to recognize (using a well known image pattern algorithms) the presence of a person in front of the computer. It is able (using a well known image matching algorithms) to compare it with the people's photos stored in the Identity db (3). If the matching photo identifies the computer owner then the system doesn't do anything.

b) Unattended: The BG identifies an environment without the computer owner presence (unattended computer without screen locked), so the system reacts to this situation detecting extraneous peop...