Government tech lab shelves launch of video tracking at JR Osaka

Kyodo

A government technology laboratory said Tuesday it has delayed the launch of a video-tracking program to monitor passers-by at a major train station — originally scheduled to begin in April — due to “voices of concern” raised by citizens.

The project, designed by the National Institute of Information and Communications Technology, aimed to capture the faces and movements of people using around 90 cameras installed at JR Osaka Station, as part of ongoing research to determine appropriate evacuation measures in the event of a disaster.

The institute said it would process the video data on people in such a way as to make it impossible to identify individuals, but a civic group voiced opposition, citing privacy concerns.

The institute has said it will now seek views from a broad range of people and examine if the experiment would pose any problems.