Privacy region protection in video surveillance systems is an active topic at present. In previous research, a binary mask mechanism has been developed to indicate the privacy region; however this incurs a significant bitrate overhead. In this paper, an adaptive binary mask is proposed to represent the privacy region. In a practical privacy region protection application, in which the privacy region typically occupies less than half of the overall frame and is rectangular or approximately rectangular, the proposed adaptive binary mask can effectively reduce the bitrate overhead. The proposed method can also be easily applied to the FMO mechanism of H.264/AVC, providing both error resilience and a lower bitrate overhead.