“Surveillance society”: Japanese are suspicious of new police technology

13.09.2020, Tokyo.

Japan has been witnessing since this spring the implementation of a face recognition system using photos from surveillance cameras and social media, which may become a tool for controlling society by police or special services, the information agency Kyodo reports on September 13.

“We use the system only in order to investigate criminal cases and within the law. We do not collect information about persons that are not implicated in such cases,” a Japanese National Police Agency’s top official said to journalists.

Critics say that the implementation of the system will undermine the principles of personal privacy. According to them, if there is no control and strict restrictions for the use of this technology, it can easily turn the country into “surveillance society.”

The technology of comparison of photos and stills from video with images from the police database is being tested since March.

On practice, policemen upload photos from Internet or surveillance cameras to a program that makes an analysis. The program compares uploaded images with information from the police database. As a result of the recognition process, policemen obtain all available information about an analyzed person.

Currently, police treat people’s photos in compliance with the rules set by the Japanese National Public Safety Commission. Similar rules apply to the treatment of other information confirming identity as fingerprints and DNA.

Source: Rossa Primavera News Agency

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