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Tokyo 2020 to use facial recognition

A facial recognition system is set to be deployed for athletes, officials and media representatives at the Olympic and Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020.

This will be the first time such technology has been used at an Olympic and Paralympic Games, reflecting Tokyo 2020’s commitment to deliver the most innovative Games in history.

NEC Corporation, a Tokyo 2020 Gold Partner, will provide the face recognition system.

The facial images of every accredited person will be collected beforehand and stored in a database; these will be used to verify identities at accreditation check points.

Face recognition technology will drastically increase security levels at the Tokyo 2020 Games.

Tokyo 2020 executive director of security Tsuyoshi Iwashita commented:

The key to Games security is to prevent unauthorised people or items from entering venues. Tokyo 2020 will utilise an automated face recognition system for accredited people, a first for an Olympic or Paralympic Games, to prevent unauthorised access.

This latest technology will enable strict identification of accredited people compared with relying solely on the eyes of security staff, and also enables swift entry to venues which will be necessary in the intense heat of summer. I hope this will ensure a safe and secure Olympic and Paralympic Games and help athletes perform at their best.

NEC Corporation senior vice president Masaaki Suganuma added:

With our extensive experience and knowledge of biometric identification technologies, NEC is well placed to help ensure the Tokyo 2020 Games can be operated smoothly, safely and securely. NEC is a global leader in such technologies, including identification using facial images, iris scans, fingerprints, palm prints, finger vein, voice and ear acoustics, and has supplied more than 700 systems in over 70 countries and regions.