Milestone CEO talks responsible technology, BriefCam merger

April 13, 2024
In an interview with at ISC West 2024, CEO Thomas Jensen discussed the company’s decision to sign the 2018 Copenhagen Letter that urges stronger privacy safeguards during adoption of GDPR.

In an interview with at ISC West 2024, CEO Thomas Jensen discussed the company’s decision to sign the 2018 Copenhagen Letter that urges stronger privacy safeguards during adoption of GDPR.

Milestone Systems adopted the G7’s landmark Code of Conduct on Artificial Intelligence last year — becoming the first video management software company to align with internationally recognized principles for trustworthy AI development and use.

Jensen says the company views upcoming regulations as an opportunity to strengthen responsible technology practices that respect civil liberties and human rights. True alignment requires collaboration between the private sector, policymakers, academia, and civil society, he says, adding that the “decisions we all make today around responsible AI will impact generations to come.”

Milestone's commitment to responsible AI includes researching societal implications, conducting internal testing, and monitoring products post-deployment. Furthermore, we strive to integrate ethical considerations throughout the development process to ensure accountability.

“Generally, we think that surveillance is a great thing for societies. We can bring safety and security to the citizens of the societies we're serving, but they should feel comfortable that our products are being used responsibly,” Jensen says. “That's why we've been really a proponent of more legislation, not on prohibiting the technology, but regulating how it's being used, so we assure that the societies are comfortable that when our technology is being used, that their human rights will be protected.

“We feel it's the right time as one of the market leaders to go in and take an active stance.”

When asked about what adjustments Milestone will have to make, Jensen says training programs for its software developers will be key to avoid pitfalls such as unconscious bias.

“We've already decided that when we train our AI models, we are primarily using synthetic data to ensure that we have privacy rights covered, and that we follow the European GDPR regulations.

“We've already rolled out a responsible technology training program for our entire organization to ensure everybody understands why it’s important for us as a company, but also why it is important for the societies we serve, that we take a stance. Next, we will focus on our partners and our ecosystem so they understand and opt into our ethical standards and how products should be used.”

Briefcam merger will be an ‘equal integration’

Jensen says the merger of Briefcam and Milestone is a “perfect match” because Briefcam is one of the market leading players in standalone video analytics and Milestone is a market leader in video management.

“To have both products helps to complete our product assortment and have our product line a lot more prepared for the future. We were sister companies and close collaborators already, but to really leverage the advantages of both companies is a huge opportunity for us.”

Jensen says he doesn’t see the Briefcam brand going away anytime soon because the firm has “very, very strong” market recognition.

“I’m very humbled about their technical capabilities and their brand value. Taking over BriefCam is not a way for Milestone to swallow up another company. It's a way for us to really drive much more, market diligence and market value to our customers,” Jensen says.

Jensen added the merger will give Milestone a better opportunity to approach various use cases and it’s important to the company in the merger process for both companies to keep an open-platform philosophy.

“This is core and crucial to both the companies today. So we want our customers to ensure that they can integrate with their vendor of choice,” Jensen says. “When it comes to standalone video analytics, we believe Briefcam is one of those best of breed, and therefore it gives us better opportunities to service our customer’s needs.”

He added there are no changes being made in executive leadership at the current time and that “this will be an equal integration” with both executive teams working independently for a few months before the integration plan is put in place.

“That’s because Briefcam can bring something to the table Milestone doesn’t have, and vice versa. So that has been very core for me. Currently, our executive teams are working together to define what is the future structure of the integration. And for me, it's important that we see our new colleagues at Briefcam fully integrated in Milestone but also retain them in Milestone.”