Wide-scale use of visual surveillance in public spaces puts individual privacy at stake while increasing resource consumption (energy, bandwidth, and computation). Neuromorphic vision sensors (event-cameras) have been recently considered a valid solution to the privacy issue because they do not capture detailed RGB visual information of the subjects in the scene. However, recent deep learning architectures have been able to reconstruct images from event cameras with high fidelity, reintroducing a potential threat to privacy for event-based vision applications. In this paper, we aim to anonymize event-streams to protect the identity of human subjects against such image reconstruction attacks. To achieve this, we propose an end-to-end network architecture jointly optimized for the twofold objective of preserving privacy and performing a downstream task such as person ReId. Our network learns to scramble events, enforcing the degradation of images recovered from the privacy attacker. In this work, we also bring to the community the first ever event-based person ReId dataset gathered to evaluate the performance of our approach. We validate our approach with extensive experiments and report results on the synthetic event data simulated from the publicly available SoftBio dataset and our proposed Event-ReId dataset.
* Accepted at International Conference on Computer Vision (ICCV), 2023