It's 2019. Why are there not dash cams with encryption? (1 Viewer)

Elcid2015

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The question is in the title. This seems like an obvious feature that should come standard on dash cams, plus, the technology exists and could easily be implemented. Basically I want a dash cam that, in the event someone smashes into my car and grabs my dash cam, prevents them from popping out my sd card and having access to all my video and audio feeds from the past week. Obviously, I can disable audio, but I shouldn't have to. And video feeds obviously, contain sensitive information (where I live, where I work, my daily routines, etc.). Do we have any forum members that have the ear of these dash cam companies?
 

STS134

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In principle, it seems pretty simple. You upload your public key to the dashcam, which uses it to encrypt video and write it to the card. You then keep the private key on your computer or phone, so the cam can write encrypted data to the card but can't read back and decrypt what it wrote.

But then again, BlackVue can't even get WiFi working properly (through WiFi Direct instead of in legacy AP mode which forces me to put my phone into airplane mode or turn off mobile data just to use it). So...
 

Elcid2015

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It kinda seems like the dash cam industry should be ahead of where it is now. Then again, I have no experience with the associated challenges and my opinion is of little value.
 

bec128

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Exactly -- the industry needs to focus on getting the basics working 100% before adding too many bells and whistles that may or may not get implemented properly. I can just imagine needing to install some clunky, never-updated, vulnerability-ridden proprietary software to watch my "encrypted" dashcam vids.

I put "encrypted" in quotes because encryption is fairly easy to implement, but very difficult to implement properly. So it would probably be a matter of weeks before a flaw is found and a tool is released to break the encryption, rendering it completely useless.

IMO, if your car gets broken into or stolen, you have much bigger things to worry about than your dashcam footage being found. They open the glove box, your registration and insurance is right there with your home address on it, your nav system will have your home, work, and plenty of other locations stored in it. So I don't think it's something that's necessarily on the minds of most dashcam consumers.
 

protias

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After hearing this phrase years ago, I have been using it, but "What is the problem you are trying to solve?"
 

Elcid2015

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The problem I am trying to solve, is that sensitive information is available (mostly audio) to thiefs when a dashcam is present. This risk is easily averted through common encryption methods.
 

protias

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The problem I am trying to solve, is that sensitive information is available (mostly audio) to thiefs when a dashcam is present. This risk is easily averted through common encryption methods.
Why is audio sensitive, unless you are dealing with classified (government) material?
 

auskip07

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Why is audio sensitive, unless you are dealing with classified (government) material?
maybe some people are embarrassed when the listen to taylor swift alone. To be fair im embarrassed for them

 

Elcid2015

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Why is audio sensitive, unless you are dealing with classified (government) material?
There are many times that I discuss sensitive financial, personal, and medical information while on the phone or with other people while I'm in the car. Someone could sell this information online or use it for identity theft, or many other bad things.
 

protias

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There are many times that I discuss sensitive financial, personal, and medical information while on the phone or with other people while I'm in the car. Someone could sell this information online or use it for identity theft, or many other bad things.
I think your a little paranoid, but that's just my humble opinion. There are easier ways to get that information than trying to steal that from a dash camera. If you are that paranoid, why not take the SD card out and put in a new one each time you start/stop your car?
 

CPB

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Encryption has serious write/read speed overhead along with processing demands. This isn't something that is a firmware revision away, but would need different hardware to make it feasible. They would then have to create new software for the key/pass generation and decryption.

It can be done, but it isn't a quick, easy or free change.
 

Vortex

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Have you looked at the OwlCam? It's the closest thing I've seen to what you're wanting.

There's not even a memory card slot in the camera. All the video is only accessible through the cloud which means that if someone steals your camera, they have no way of accessing any of the audio or video clips in the camera.

 

STS134

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Have you looked at the OwlCam? It's the closest thing I've seen to what you're wanting.

There's not even a memory card slot in the camera. All the video is only accessible through the cloud which means that if someone steals your camera, they have no way of accessing any of the audio or video clips in the camera.

Great. So instead of having to physically steal your card, all they've gotta do is hack your cloud account or the servers on which the videos are stored...

The whole idea behind encrypting the dashcam video is that the videos should be accessible only to you. This is arguably even worse because it gives anyone at Owl Cameras access to them.
 

Vortex

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Great. So instead of having to physically steal your card, all they've gotta do is hack your cloud account or the servers on which the videos are stored...

The whole idea behind encrypting the dashcam video is that the videos should be accessible only to you. This is arguably even worse because it gives anyone at Owl Cameras access to them.
The way I understand it, the videos are stored in the camera's built in memory. There's no way they can continuously upload every single video clip 24/7 to the cloud as that would take up so much bandwidth.

It only sends out clips on demand when you request them or when an event like a break-in happens.

If a thief steals your camera, it'll send you that video clip and then power off. The only way someone will be able to get the footage will be to not only get access to your account, but they'll also need to power on the camera since all the footage is in it. When they do that, you'll be able to track your camera, see where it is, access the video feed to see what's going on, clear off any video footage, etc.

I don't know exactly how the secure connection works they describe, but it doesn't sound like the files are readily accessible for someone to get.

I've never used one so I don't know the details and while it may certainly be possible, it sounds an order of magnitude more difficult than smashing a window, grabbing a dashcam, and popping out the memory card.
 

Elcid2015

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I don't think it is being paranoid. It seems like a reasonable concern, similar to how you would be concerned if you left your social security card inside your car. And in regards to the processing power sure, of course it would be more resource intensive; it would have to be designed for such and the msrp would be adjusted to account for that, but there are plenty of lightweight video encryption techniques. And really it wouldn't have to be all that secure, just something that would serve as a deterrent. Thanks for the info Vortex.
 

Transporter

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Encryption takes up SD card space, time, and increases demands on the CPU that is already at maximum if one is recording in maximum resolution.
Every wonder why Cable Boxes run so hot? It is because every single byte is compressed and must be uncompressed.
 

STS134

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The way I understand it, the videos are stored in the camera's built in memory. There's no way they can continuously upload every single video clip 24/7 to the cloud as that would take up so much bandwidth.

It only sends out clips on demand when you request them or when an event like a break-in happens.

If a thief steals your camera, it'll send you that video clip and then power off. The only way someone will be able to get the footage will be to not only get access to your account, but they'll also need to power on the camera since all the footage is in it. When they do that, you'll be able to track your camera, see where it is, access the video feed to see what's going on, clear off any video footage, etc.

I don't know exactly how the secure connection works they describe, but it doesn't sound like the files are readily accessible for someone to get.

I've never used one so I don't know the details and while it may certainly be possible, it sounds an order of magnitude more difficult than smashing a window, grabbing a dashcam, and popping out the memory card.
We actually don't know if the videos are encrypted internally. There might not be a port (like USB) of getting at them, but if they aren't encrypted, the camera can be disassembled and the flash chip can be attached to a different board and the videos obtained rather easily.

That said, common thieves probably aren't going to be interested in doing this. They're going to be interested in selling the unit. So even if they did get a hold of your traditional cam, they're probably not going to go through all 8-24 hours of your videos to see if you told someone a credit card number on the phone.

Encryption takes up SD card space, time, and increases demands on the CPU that is already at maximum if one is recording in maximum resolution.
Every wonder why Cable Boxes run so hot? It is because every single byte is compressed and must be uncompressed.
You're supposed to use a crypto co-processor to do it, not the main CPU.

I highly doubt you're going to see Anker put crypto co-processors in its ROAV cameras though. They're probably trying to cut every last cent of cost so they can make a profit on those things. BlackVue can certainly afford to do it, although they seem to be having other issues with their cameras and it's probably not a priority.
 
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