On January 27, 2021, the Federal Financial Supervisory Authority (BaFin) reported an employee of the securities regulator to the Stuttgart public prosecutor on suspicion of insider trading. The employee had sold structured products with the underlying Wirecard AG on June 17, 2020. On June 18, 2020, Wirecard AG made public that it was not yet possible to obtain sufficient audit evidence about the existence of bank balances in trust accounts totaling 1.9 billion euros. The financial supervisory authority had discovered the suspicion as part of their special evaluation. BaFin immediately fired the employee and initiated disciplinary proceedings.
BaFin tightened the compliance rules for its employees’ private securities transactions in mid-October 2020. Speculative financial transactions, i.e. short-term trading, for example with derivative financial instruments or stocks, have no longer been possible since then.
Artec technologies AG (ISIN DE0005209589) strategically develops its business with authorities and organizations with security tasks (BOS). It was not just the storming of the Capitol in the United States or the attempt at the Berlin Reichstag that showed that security authorities need to integrate the monitoring and evaluation of social media and other sources of information more closely in crime detection and prevention. The BOS business had already generated a large part of artec’s annual turnover. The cash flow of the company is characterized, among other things, by recurring revenues from cloud and services, an important characteristic in the revenue structure for investors who want to benefit from the ongoing trend at artec technologies AG. Artec sees considerable growth potential in the BOS area for the coming years.
The prerequisites for using this potential are not only given by numerous German security authorities, such as around 50 percent of the state criminal police offices, but also by the fact that artec has positioned itself as a supplier of video information systems, among other things. In 2020, the company successfully positioned itself as a system supplier – everything from a single source.
The heart of this success is the MULTIEYE BOS Manager: a private cloud-based software platform for mobile emergency services, situation centers and control centers. It was developed with specialists from German security authorities and has proven itself over the past year as a central management system for the preparation, implementation and follow-up of classic observation missions. The individually configurable hardware for field operations is also supplied by artec. All processes are compliant with data protection regulations, and artec attaches particular importance to maintaining digital data sovereignty. In view of the exponentially increased complexity of the legal requirements, this is a unique selling point that should not be underestimated.
In addition to the existing BOS customers, a European authority is currently testing the BOS Manager, reports the company, as well as discussions with other authorities in the national and international market. In order to accelerate sales, artec plans to increasingly make systems available to potential customers for a certain period of time and thus convince them to buy or rent.
“The work of the security authorities is becoming more and more complex. In addition to classic observation by cameras, there are also media such as the Internet, TV and streaming. The possibilities for crime detection and prevention are huge, as are the resulting amounts of data, which represent a great challenge. In doing so, isolated solutions from different providers, as they are still often used in authorities today, reach their limits, ”says artec CEO Thomas Hoffmann. “A system platform is needed to structure so-called dirty data, for example from social media channels, video material provided by citizens and other sources, and to merge it with metadata from video observation or other databases. Among other things, this is the prerequisite for subsequent cognitive analyzes, as they are increasingly used in the fight against terrorism.”
Anyone looking for a data collector and processor for security authorities that complies with data protection regulations will find what they are looking for at artec. As a specialist in data collection and processing from audiovisual sources, artec can offer security authorities real added value. With the two platforms XENTAURIX and MULTIEYE, artec has a leading spectrum of sources in the market, from TV and radio to a wide variety of cameras (including body cameras, surveillance systems) and social media streams such as YouTube, Facebook and Tik Tok. The artec systems have been used successfully in practice for years – e.g. by security authorities and media companies as well as in shopping centers and for license plate recognition.
Artec’s future prospects are further brightened by the expansion of the BOS Manager to include AI functions. The expansion of the functionality of the BOS Manager in the current year and beyond is probably the most important strategic goal for artec. Due to increased demand from the customer base and upcoming negotiations, artec’s technology specialists are making appropriate preparations. According to Diepholz, it is planned to expand the manager with essential performance features for area observation in border regions, for large-scale police situations, events and demonstrations. This is to be achieved initially through the stronger integration of XENTAURIX as a source supplier from TV and social media. The integration of other data sources such as drone recordings is also planned. In addition, the possibilities of comparing and linking with existing audiovisual information, such as license plates, faces, motion sensors and video material (dirt data) provided by citizens, are to be expanded through artificial intelligence. In addition, artec will further expand the already existing offer of guaranteeing security authorities technical support around the clock (24/7).
For all of these functions, precise knowledge of the legal situation is essential. In Germany in particular, the protection of privacy is considered a valuable legal asset. Without many years of experience, those competitors who dare to venture into this business area solely because of their technical understanding, but not also because of their legal expertise, can face significant fines or claims for damages. § 823 I BGB expressly names the legal interests of life, body, health and freedom as well as the absolute right to property as such, the violation of which constitutes an obligation to pay compensation. Rights include property and other rights. Property as an absolute right, that is to say, a right that affects everyone, is the only point of contact for the interpretation of “other rights”. As a result, “other rights” can only be those that are absolute. Other rights also include general personal rights.
As a guideline for balancing interests, the jurisprudence developed the theory of spheres. According to this, the requirements for a justified intervention are higher, the more protected the sphere of intervention is. The intimate sphere includes the world of thoughts and feelings. Diary entries, information on the state of health, attitudes towards sexuality etc. enjoy absolute protection. Every intervention – apart from extreme cases – is fundamentally illegal.
Domestic and family life are part of the private sphere. It is also protected by personal rights, but there are exceptions and tolerance obligations. A person in public life, for example, has to tolerate a greater degree of interference with the general right of personality than non-public persons. The social sphere is the least protected. This includes all interactions between an individual and their environment, such as the exercise of their profession. Interventions in this sphere can easily be justified. At this point, the decisive factor is a good argumentation and dealing with the individual case.
An example of an application for one of artec’s goals illustrates the legal situation in the social sphere: after a criminal offense such as that committed at the G20 summit in Hamburg, authorities call for cell phone videos to be made available. Hundreds of videos are then uploaded. The future expansion development of the BOS Manager analyzes the data, sorts out countless duplicates and provides the authorities with a pre-selection of the videos relevant to the investigation. The officers can assess the situation from different angles. In addition, faces, license plates, conspicuous objects or clothing are marked with a “digital fingerprint”. Artificial intelligence can then be used to search for faces or cars in existing databases – e.g. from traffic monitoring or other security cameras. In this way, a movement profile of offenders can be created before and after the event.
The German Federal Financial Supervisory Authority (BaFin) published an urgent announcement “21.12.2020 | Topic Consumer protection: Warning regarding the website ‘otc-markets.eu'”. Regardless of the warning, the website is still active:
BaFin advises that the website “otc-markets.eu” does not belong to the US company OTC Markets Group Inc. “This is a case of identity theft committed by unknown perpetrators”, writes BaFin.
Identity theft is the crime of obtaining the personal or financial information of another person to use their identity to commit fraud, such as making unauthorized transactions or purchases. Banks and financial service providers and their clients are popular victims. Identity theft is committed in many different ways and its victims are typically left with damage to their credit, finances, and reputation.
It is not only difficult to catch the perpetrators. Shutting down the website also requires complicated legal steps, if at all possible. For many months in 2017 and 2018, for example, there was also a doppelganger from Frankfurt-based ICF Bank AG. The original website of ICF BANK AG is https://www.icfbank.de/. Using popular search engines such as Google or Baidu, Chinese-speaking prospects and customers were taken to a website at this address https://www.icf-bank.com/zh-cn/imprint.asp that had nothing to do with the Frankfurt-based bank, but contained the same information on the regulatory authority aside from incorrect telephone numbers.
If a prospect or customer contacts a fake website and reveals his personal data, trusting the seriousness of the website, the victim enables a multitude of criminal offenses. Once identity thieves have the information they are looking for, they can ruin a person’s credit rating and the standing of other personal information.
The cases show that the new information and communication technologies also demand new answers to the question of evidence and credibility. One of the so far in Western countries unpopular responses of the People’s Republic of China to the challenges mentioned is the introduction of a social credit system.
Another less serious case is blog identity theft. For example, the blog www.everling.de was completely copied and advertised on another website. In this case, the perpetrators benefited from the advertising revenue. All texts, images, even the entire structure of the website were completely copied. The perpetrators benefited from generating advertising income without having to write texts themselves.