Automated redaction of video recordings for the purposes of Access to Information requests (EN578-170003/32)

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Tender Notice


Publishing status


Publication date
Amendment date
Date closing
2019/10/16 14:00 Eastern Daylight Time (EDT)


Reference number
Solicitation number
Region of opportunity
Region of delivery
Notice type
Request for Proposal (RFP)
Trade agreement
  • None
Tendering procedure
Solely Canadian content
Procurement entity
Public Works and Government Services Canada
End user entity
Public Works and Government Services Canada

Contact Information

Contact name
Secrétariat de Solutions Innovatrices Canada / Innovative Solutions Canada Secretariat
Contact email
Contact address
10 Wellington
Gatineau  QC
K1A 0S5

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October 16, 2019

  • Attachment 8 has been added. The response to question #45 has been revised.


October 10, 2019

  • Attachment 7 has been added. The document contains questions and answers related to the Challenge.


October 1, 2019

  • Attachment 6 has been added. The document contains questions and answers related to the Challenge.


September 24, 2019

  • Attachment 5 has been added. The document contains questions and answers related to the Challenge.


September 19, 2019

  • The closing date for this challenge has been extended to October 16, 2019 at 14:00 EDT.


September 13, 2019

  • Attachment 4 has been added. The document contains questions and answers related to the Challenge.


September 6, 2019

  • Attachment 3 has been added. The document contains questions and answers related to the Challenge.


August 22, 2019

  • Attachment 2 has been added. The document contains questions and answers related to the Challenge.


August 12, 2019

  • Attachment 1 has been added. The document contains questions and answers related to the Challenge.


This Challenge Notice is issued under the Innovative Solutions Canada Program Call for Proposals 002 (EN578-170003/C).

Please refer to the Solicitation Documents which contain the process for submitting a proposal.

Steps to apply:

Step 1: read this challenge

Step 2: read the Call for Proposals

Step 3: propose your solution

Challenge Title: Automated redaction of video recordings for the purposes of Access to Information requests

Sponsoring Department: Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA)

Funding Mechanism: Contract


Multiple contracts could result from this Challenge.

The maximum funding available for any Phase 1 Contract resulting from this Challenge is $100,000.00 CAD (plus tax) including shipping, travel and living expenses, as applicable, for up to 6 months.

The maximum funding available for any Phase 2 Contract resulting from this Challenge is $500,000.00 CAD (plus tax) including shipping, travel and living expenses, as applicable, for up to 12 months. Only eligible businesses that have completed Phase 1 could be considered for Phase 2.

This disclosure is made in good faith and does not commit Canada to contract for the total approximate funding.

TRAVEL:  For Phase 1 it is anticipated that two meetings will require the successful bidder(s) to travel to the location identified below:

Kick-off meeting

Ottawa, ON

Final Review Meeting

Ottawa, ON

Problem Summary Statement

The CBSA is seeking a solution that will allow video and audio recordings to be automatically processed to ensure that people and objects other than the requestor of the audio or video files are not identifiable.

Problem Statement

The CBSA puts a lot of effort into processing video recordings collected at ports of entry, in order to comply with Access to Information requests. For example, it is common for a person to ask for all video footage at a certain location that contains their image. In order to comply, the Agency has to review the available video from the location, and identify and extract all scenes containing the individual. In addition, before the video footage can be released, it needs to be redacted so that other individuals and objects in the scenes cannot be identified, in order to protect the privacy of others. Given that the audio and/or video processing is in support of an access to information request, the solution does not need to be at a forensic (i.e., court-ready) level.

Desired outcomes and Considerations

Essential (Mandatory) Outcomes

Proposed solutions must:

  1. allow the processing of digital audio and video recordings, by redacting all instances of all personal identifiable content (for example, faces, name tags, license plate numbers) or retaining only particular information as described by the requestor
  2. replace the zone of interest with black/white pixels in order to ensure the redacting cannot be undone after the video is released
  3. replace the zone of interest with silenced audio
  4. be able to blur the overall scene in order to remove any background private information while maintaining the basic context of the scene.
  5. minimise manual intervention after identifying initially a particular individual/object in a video feed
  6. manage a single redacting case from multiple media ingestion through all reviews and final media exports. 
  7. be able to process and store information at a protected B level.

    Reference Link:

    Level of Security:

Safeguarding information:

Additional Outcomes

Proposed solutions should:

  1. successfully process between to 60 to 90 per cent of the video content without human intervention.

Background and Context

The current process is largely manual. Video footage is reviewed by employees to identify scenes containing certain individuals and to redact the scenes as needed. Today the redaction process is very manual and involves interacting with more then 50% of the video content most of the time. The process is facilitated by the use of specialized software, but is still very labour intensive. Based upon the available information, it currently takes between four to six hours of work for an Access to Information and Privacy Analyst for the editing and the rendering of one hour of video. The number of requests is increasing rapidly, partly due to increasing use of closed-circuit television systems. For example, from 2017-18 to 2018-19, the number of videos processed by the CBSA more than doubled, while the corresponding effort increased by more than a factor of five to approximately 1,800 person-days. Clients have a legislated right to request access to government information (Access to Information Act) and their own personal information (Privacy Act). Government’s Institutions must respond to a request within the legislated timeframe, which is 30 calendar days for both Acts. The legislated timeframe for responding to Access to Information or Privacy requests is 30 calendar days. The Acts permits an institution to extend the time limit to respond to a request beyond the 30 calendar days only under certain circumstances. In 2018–2019, the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) received 7,673 requests under the Access to Information Act, and reviewed 1,157,130 pages. The CBSA also received 13,447 requests under the Privacy Act, and reviewed 678,337 pages. Despite record high volumes of requests received, the CBSA responded to 94.3% of access requests and 97.9% of privacy requests within their statutory timelines. The product would help the CBSA to maintain such remarkable results over the coming years. The solution would be useful across a wide range of government organizations, both within Canada and internationally, as many of them collect video footage and are subject to Access to Information legislation.


All enquiries must be submitted in writing to no later than ten calendar days before the Challenge Notice closing date. Enquiries received after that time may not be answered. For general ISC information, Bidders can visit the ISC website.

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FileAmendment numberLanguageUnique Download Event (English page)Date added
attachment_1_-_question_and_answer_1_-_en578-170003_32.pdfNot availableEnglish- 2019-08-12
piece_jointe_1-_question_et_reponse_1_-_en578-170003_32.pdfNot availableFrench- 2019-08-12
attachment_2_-_questions_and_answers_2_and_3_-_en578-170003_32.pdfNot availableEnglish- 2019-08-22
piece_jointe_2_-_questions_et_reponses_2_3_-_en578-170003_32.pdfNot availableFrench- 2019-08-22
attachment_3_-_questions_and_answers_4_and_11_-_en578-170003_32.pdfNot availableEnglish- 2019-09-06
piece_jointe_3_-_questions_et_reponses_4_a_11_-_en578-170003_32.pdfNot availableFrench- 2019-09-06
attachment_4_-_questions_and_answers_12_to_18_-_en578-170003_32.pdfNot availableEnglish- 2019-09-13
piece_jointe_4_-_questions_et_reponses_12_a_18_-_en578-170003_32.pdfNot availableFrench- 2019-09-13
attachment_5_-_questions_and_answers_19_to_24_-_en578-170003_32.pdfNot availableEnglish- 2019-09-24
piece_jointe_5_-_questions_et_reponses_19_a_24_-_en578-170003_32.pdfNot availableFrench- 2019-09-24
attachment_6_-_questions_and_answers_25_to_36_-_en578-170003_32.pdfNot availableEnglish- 2019-10-01
piece_jointe_6_-_questions_et_reponses_25_a_36_-_en578-170003_32.pdfNot availableFrench- 2019-10-01
attachment_7_-_questions_and_answers_37_to_45_-_en578-170003_32.pdfNot availableEnglish- 2019-10-10
piece_jointe_7_-_questions_et_reponses_37_a_45_-_en578-170003_32.pdfNot availableFrench- 2019-10-10
attachment_8_-_revised_question_and_answer_45_-_en578-170003_32.pdfNot availableEnglish- 2019-10-16
piece_jointe_8_-_question_et_reponse_revisees_45_-_en578-170003_32.pdfNot availableFrench- 2019-10-16