Japan to introduce face recognition technology at 2020 Olympic Games


Japanese authorities are intending to enhance security measures during the 2020 Tokyo Olympics by implementing automatic face recognition technologies aimed at reducing potential threat of a terrorist attack.

The estimated number of people expected to be covered by the program is up to 300,000 to 400,000 and includes athletes, technical staff, security officers and the media, Japan Times reported.

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Digital verification, which will be used at nearly 40 venues, will improve on the previous ID cards system, whose main loophole remains to be illegal usage of stolen or forged cards by non-accredited persons who could easily enter and exit stadiums.

Olympic Games participants will be provided with special ID cards contacting their images and personal details. While entering an Olympic venue their faces will be scanned to determine if they match the pictures from the system database.

The facial recognition technology has been developed by NEC Corporation, a company that has created one of the world’s most accurate recognition systems, which is able to tell identical twins apart and recognize those who have changed their appearance by plastic surgery.

Face recognition technologies will not involve spectators, who will be asked to show their tickets to get entry into Olympic venues. The system has already been successfully tested by the Japanese Justice Ministry, who installed specially-designed facial recognition gates at Tokyo's Haneda Airport in October to screen passengers.

The Tokyo Olympics are scheduled to be held July 24-August 9, 2020.

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