JR East drops plans to track ex-convicts using facial recognition

Japan Times -- Sep 24
East Japan Railway Co. (JR East) has suspended the addition of released prisoners to its list of people tracked at its train stations by security cameras using facial recognition technology, after it started the practice this summer, it was learned Wednesday.

JR East suspended the tracking due to concerns over invasions of privacy raised from outside the company, company officials said.

According to JR East, the cameras were set up at its stations in July as part of strengthened security for the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics.

Those subject to JR East's tracking were suspicious people wandering around stations, wanted suspects and released prisoners and parolees who had committed serious crimes at the company's stations and inside its trains.

JR East received information on the discharged prisoners and others from the Public Prosecutors Office under a system that notifies victims and managers of places where a crime occurred of a perpetrator's release from prison.