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Pushing for Gold: Organisers of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics Adopting Facial Recognition Technology and Robotics to Ensure Peak Performance

It seems that Facial Recognition Technology (FRT) is the flavour of the month. Recently, we blogged about the adoption of FRT in the SkyCity Adelaide Casino to identify barred gamblers, which comes following the commencement of Perth’s 12 month trial of FRT conducted in co-operation with law enforcement agencies. However, on an international stage, organisers of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics have begun testing of FRT access systems to boost security, according to a Report by the Australian Financial Review.

As a key objective of the games to deliver a lasting technology legacy, images of every accredited individual will be collected prior to the competition, with an identity verification process taking 0.3 seconds to identify individuals from a database including over 1.6 million faces. In addition to the development of a secure entry system, autonomous patrolling surveillance robots with 360-degree video, metal detectors and thermal imaging sensors will be used at games site to identify suspicious or dangerous objects, whilst other autonomous security robots will provide multilingual instructions and information to spectators and officials including evacuation directions in the event of an emergency. Special-use robots will also assist in competition through functions such as the retrieval of equipment in field events.

Whilst we remain cautious about the continued adoption of FRT, the measures as a whole demonstrate organisers’ acknowledgement of the utility of technology in facilitating increased security where large data volumes make the task difficult for humans. We hope that organisers understand the risks associated with the use of such technology, including the potential risks of abuse and take active steps to mitigate such risks to ensure that Tokyo isn’t knocked off the security podium.

This post also includes contributions from James Gray.

Copyright 2020 K & L Gates


About this Author

Cameron Abbott, Technology, Attorney, Australia, corporate, KL Gates Law Firm

Mr. Abbott is a corporate lawyer who focuses on technology, telecommunications and broadcasting transactions. He assists corporations and vendors in managing their technology requirements and contracts, particularly large outsourcing and technology procurements issues including licensing terms for SAP and Oracle and major system integration transactions.

Mr. Abbott partners with his clients to ensure market leading solutions are implemented in to their businesses. He concentrates on managing and negotiating complex technology solutions, which...

Max Evans Lawyer technology matters, Software as a Service Agreements SaaS Sydney

Mr. Evans is a corporate and transactional lawyer with a focus on information technology and outsourcing. He provides assistance on a broad range of technology matters, including Software as a Service Agreements (SaaS), terms and conditions for software products and platforms as well as software procurement and outsourcing projects. Mr. Evans also provides assistance with technology and privacy aspects of mergers and acquisitions transactions.

Professional Background

Prior to joining K&L Gates, Mr. Evans worked in the insolvency and bankruptcy practice of a Boutique Insolvency Law Firm in Sydney for two years.