Joi Ito's Web

Joi Ito's conversation with the living web.

The Asahi reports (in Japanese) that Ministry of Finance has installed hidden cameras in Narita and Kansai international airports. They were installed for the World Cup but are now used to automatically match your face against a database consisting of their blacklist as well as blacklists from other ministries. It appears that the cameras are installed in the passageway after people get off of the plane and are on their way to baggage claim and customs. The Asahi points out that people are constitutionally protected in Japan from being photographed secretly by the government except in special circumstances and it is unlikely that this would qualify. The Japanese government is notorious for being sloppy with sensitive information often leaking secrets to foreign governments and personal information to criminals. Recently a tape containing records from the National ID system were stolen from a car. My question is, WHY WERE THEY IN THE CAR IN THE FIRST PLACE. The procedure for handling the destruction of the tapes in the airport is still a black box. I assume this is a security measure. bah!

Thanks for this link Tai


I would like this face matching technology to be used for something useful. For example, I could have a camera in my lapel that would record the faces of people I meet which could then match the face with a database of people I know. A microphone in my ear could remind me if I know the person I'm meeting and what there name is. . .

Much better than carrying on a vague conversation while trying to remember who you are speaking to.

maybe they are re-examining Florida airport experience, i.e. facial recognition based surveillance didn't work. many now knows there was so much percentage of false positives screwed matching. and the system was easily fooled by shadow, wearing sunglasses and hair makeups. as Bruce Schneier pointed out, facial recognitions only work effectively with authentication but not with broad surveillance.

I see here a basic confusion: "functions that human can do may be transfered to computers". not that easy!