Brian Sims

Security Matters Podcast – Episode 18 now live to view

THE EIGHTEENTH edition of the Security Matters Podcast for practising professionals in the security business sector is now live to view. Each episode features a round-up and analysis of the biggest news stories published on the magazine’s website in addition to detailed discussions with selected professionals from the security business sector.

Episode 18 of the Security Matters Podcast includes exclusive interviews with Simon Pears CSyP MSyI, global security director at facilities management business Sodexo and chairman of the Board at the International Professional Security Association (IPSA) and Rob Watts (CEO at CorsightAI).

Simon Pears joined Sodexo back in 2007 in the role of head of security for the UK and Ireland. He was appointed to his current role with the facilities management solutions provider in January 2014.

For its part, IPSA is a membership association for individuals and companies working in the fire and security sectors. The organisation was formed over 60 years ago in a determined bid to ensure professionalism in the management of security operations and is now an established and well-recognised worldwide professional organisation.

Looking back on 2020, Simon outlines the ways in which he believes the pandemic has impacted the security sector and its constituent practitioners. Are there any positive developments that have emerged from an extremely bleak period for the nation and, indeed, the world at large?

Also, looking back across the last three years, what does Simon believe to have been the key achievements realised by Jane Farrell, his predecessor in the role of IPSA chair?

IPSA has recently unveiled a new look in the form of a revamped website. As the newly-installed chair of the organisation, Simon explains his plan of action aimed at putting IPSA ‘back on the map’ in 2021,

Part of the thought process here is to extend IPSA membership to security and fire safety technicians. What’s the reasoning behind this planned move? You’ll need to listen to Episode 18 of the Security Matters Podcast to find out.

Of late, there has been much discussion about the soon-to-be-launched app for IPSA’s members. For the benefit of the readers of Security Matters, Simon outlines what this is going to include and how it will take the organisation forward. Front line worker representation on the IPSA Board is another key idea that has been proposed. Simon concludes our interview by addressing that very subject.

Facial recognition

Our second guest on Episode 18 of the Security Matters Podcast is Rob Watts, the CEO at CorsightAI. Corsight was founded by a group of passionate engineers and entrepreneurs with a track record of creating paradigm-changing products powered by a proprietary ‘Autonomous AI’.

The company’s stated mission is to “radically enhance” the world of facial recognition technologies. The business is jointly headquartered in the United States and the UK, with R&D offices located in Israel.

From early 2007 until November 2015, Rob served as sales director at Northgate Public Services. He then spent two-and-a-half years as regional sales director for Europe at the NEC Corporation with a keen focus on cyber security, biometrics and facial recognition.

Rob’s skills in facial recognition were honed still further during a two-year spell with Digital Barriers before he moved to CorsightAI in July last year, initially taking on the role of executive vice-president for Europe.

Recently, there has been talk of facial recognition being able to detect individuals’ faces even when they’re wearing face masks. Is this a genuine breakthrough or are there perhaps bigger challenges ahead for the industry? Rob offers his considered views on this issue in conversation with Security Matters’ Editor Brian Sims.

As a business, Corsight is relatively new to the security market. On that basis, Rob explains in detail the company’s technology and underpinning philosophies.

As we recently reported on the Security Matters website, Corsight has just appointed former Surveillance Camera Commissioner Tony Porter QPM LLB (a guest on Episode 11 of the Security Matters Podcast) in the role of chief privacy officer. What will that role look like in practice? Again, you’ll need to listen to Episode 18 to find out.

Rob has often talked about facial recognition technology having the potential to be used as a force for good. As well as elaborating on the detail behind that statement, Rob goes on to assess where he thinks facial recognition will be in terms of uptake and technology advancement across the next two-to-three years.

Listen to the Security Matters Podcast

You can listen to the Security Matters Podcast – kindly sponsored by The Security Event, which runs at the NEC in Birmingham from 7-9 September 2021 – for free on iTunes or Spotify. To download the Security Matters Podcast on iTunes or Spotify, all you need to do is enter the term ‘Security Matters’ into your chosen platform’s search box.

Alternatively, you can listen to the Security Matters Podcast online at

*If there are any particular topics or themes you would like us to cover on future editions of the Security Matters Podcast (which are live to view every fortnight on Wednesdays) please do contact us. You can do so on Twitter by using the hashtag #SecurityPod or simply send an e-mail direct to

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