Safety and Security

2020 Olympics To Ramp Up Security With Facial Scanning

In an attempt to boost security and speed up entry, facial recognition technology will be used at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics and Paralympics.

According to The Japan Times, digital verification will not only make it difficult to use stolen or forged cards at both events, but will also likely reduce waiting times for officials, competitors and reporters.

Sources familiar with the matter said the technology won’t be used for spectators, who will still be asked to show their tickets and have their luggage checked as in the previous Olympics.

The organizing committee will distribute ID cards bearing facial photos for those involved in the games – around 300,000 to 400,000 people, including athletes and journalists. When they enter the venues, their faces will automatically be checked against registered photos for discrepancies.

The technology is designed by NEC, which is known to offer one of the world’s most accurate facial recognition systems that is capable of recognizing those who have undergone cosmetic surgery, as well as distinguishing between identical twins.

The committee tested the technology when it was managing the flow of media personnel entering the Japan House information center during the 2016 Rio Games. In addition, the Justice Ministry deployed gates using facial recognition technology to screen passengers at Tokyo’s Haneda airport in October.


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