• Privacy region protection for H.264/AVC with enhanced scrambling effect and a low bitrate overhead

      Wang, Yongsheng; O׳Neill, Máire; Kurugollu, Fatih; O׳Sullivan, Elizabeth; Queen's University, Belfast (Elsevier, 2015-05-12)
      While video surveillance systems have become ubiquitous in our daily lives, they have introduced concerns over privacy invasion. Recent research to address these privacy issues includes a focus on privacy region protection, whereby existing video scrambling techniques are applied to specific regions of interest (ROI) in a video while the background is left unchanged. Most previous work in this area has only focussed on encrypting the sign bits of nonzero coefficients in the privacy region, which produces a relatively weak scrambling effect. In this paper, to enhance the scrambling effect for privacy protection, it is proposed to encrypt the intra prediction modes (IPM) in addition to the sign bits of nonzero coefficients (SNC) within the privacy region. A major issue with utilising encryption of IPM is that drift error is introduced outside the region of interest. Therefore, a re-encoding method, which is integrated with the encryption of IPM, is also proposed to remove drift error. Compared with a previous technique that uses encryption of IPM, the proposed re-encoding method offers savings in the bitrate overhead while completely removing the drift error. Experimental results and analysis based on H.264/AVC were carried out to verify the effectiveness of the proposed methods. In addition, a spiral binary mask mechanism is proposed that can reduce the bitrate overhead incurred by flagging the position of the privacy region. A definition of the syntax structure for the spiral binary mask is given. As a result of the proposed techniques, the privacy regions in a video sequence can be effectively protected by the enhanced scrambling effect with no drift error and a lower bitrate overhead.