Nikkei IT Pro Report: JR Osaka Station Announces Delay of “Face Recognition” Experiment

The National Institute of Information & Communications Technology (NICT) had announced plans to conduct an ICT Operation Test for a two-year span starting in April but instead announced that it will delay the experiment . The test was to be conducted in the Osaka Station City department store in Osaka Station.

With the large number of cameras set up  around the building, NICT had planned to track faces to understand time wastage due to crowding, as well as examining how certain people move around the department store. NICT hoped to use the data to create new evacuation routes and other safety measures in fire or natural disaster situations.

NICT had guaranteed that the facial data collected wold be anonymous and that would be strictly used for the necessities of the experiment. No data would be sold to a third party, but mounting privacy concerns came to a head it was declared that commuters had no option to opt out unless they changed their commuting route.

NICT claims that after further reconsideration of the privacy impact, they will conduct the operation test again.

Source: IT Pro by Nikkei Computer Shimbun 
Image Source: Flickr