Recently, a new pilot started with two so-called Shuttercams on the grounds nearby the Johan Cruijff ArenA. A Shuttercam is a remote camera with a shutter that monitors the crowd in a privacy friendly way. The shutter is a physical cover that visibly blocks the view of the camera, similar to a webcam slider on a laptop. In this way, passersby can clearly see that the camera is off at times when it is not relevant to monitor the crowds.

Shuttercam is a project of the Responsible Sensing Lab. The goal of the project is to design a sensor that fulfills its function but collects only the strictly necessary data. After an earlier pilot at the Marine Terrein, the Shuttercams around the ArenA are being deployed for the first time in a "real" environment and by a national market player VCS.

“Not only the deployment of shutters, but precisely that we are working together with a national market party and the municipality of Amsterdam, where the concept is directly applied in an operational environment, is what makes this project special.”

Thijs Turèl

Program Manager Responsible Urban Digitization

The Shuttercams nearby the Johan Cruijf ArenA monitor the crowd around the stadium during events on the grounds and help prevent congestion and unsafe situations. They are an addition to the Public Eye project of the City of Amsterdam and the ArenA: a privacy-friendly open-source solution for measuring crowds. Within this project, an algorithm analyzes camera images without employee intervention and converts them into counts. That is the only information the employee receives: the camera images themselves are not shown or stored. Amsterdam is the first municipality to combine these two innovations. In this way, the municipality carries out its tasks efficiently, while the privacy of Amsterdam residents and visitors is better safeguarded. On the website of the Responsible Sensing Lab you can find the event calendar, which shows exactly when the Shuttercams at the ArenA will or will not monitor.

The pilot will run till January 2023. Passers-by will be asked for their opinions, but the people who work with and maintain the remote cameras behind the scenes will also be included. The Responsible Sensing Lab will use the results in designing new, 'responsible' ways of camera surveillance in the city. If successful, VCS will further develop the technique and the project can be scaled up within Amsterdam and other municipalities. Marvin Fonteijn of VCS: "This project can provide a practically feasible solution in numerous situations for government organizations that want to better ensure the privacy of their citizens."

Shuttercam installation at the Johan Cruijff ArenA

Photo by Sjoerd Ponstein

Information about the shuttercam at the Johan Cruijff Arena

Photo by Sjoerd Ponstein

The pilot is a collaboration between the Responsible Sensing Lab, VCS and the Johan Cruijf ArenA. The family business VCS organizes and directs camera surveillance all over the country, including in cities, public transport, airports and seaports, museums, hospitals and shopping centers. As one of the most sustainable and innovative stadiums in the world, the Johan Cruijff ArenA aims to have a positive impact on its surroundings. With digital solutions for mobility, safety, inclusivity and sustainability, the organization is driving the area development of Amsterdam Zuidoost and contributing to the development of smart cities, such as Amsterdam.