alphadogg writes: Japan's Osaka Station could become another focal point in the global battle over personal privacy protection as a Japanese research center prepares for a long-term face-recognition study there. The independent research group National Institute of Information and Communications Technology (NICT) plans to begin the experiment in April to study crowd movements in order to better plan for emergency procedures during disasters. The train station is western Japan's busiest, with an average of 413,000 passengers boarding trains there every day. Over a million people use it and neighboring Umeda Station daily. NICT will deploy cameras in Osaka Station and the adjacent Osaka Station City, a multipurpose complex, that can track faces as they move around the premises. The cameras will be separate from any security cameras that are already installed. "The purpose of the study is to determine whether or not sensor data on crowd movements can be used to validate the safety measures of emergency exits for when a disaster strikes," a NICT spokesperson said.