Athletes, staff members, volunteers and reporters at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics will be facing a security system unlike any used at previous Olympics: facial recognition technology.

Before the 2020 Olympics get underway, the roughly 300,000 athletes along with staff members, reporters and volunteers will be photographed and issued ID cards that can be verified using facial recognition technology in order to gain entry to Olympic venues.

The move, according to officials, will help prevent the entry of attendees borrowing, faking or stealing identification from those already granted access to the events. The system will secure all Olympic facilities, including athlete residences, media centers and 43 competition venues.

However, such surveillance will not be used on spectators of the events.

"It is the first time facial recognition will be deployed for all people involved in the Olympics at all venues," Olympic security chief Tsuyoshi Iwashita said.

"Higher security is needed for people involved in Olympics as they enter important areas. They also go in and out of venues so we decided to introduce the system for smooth entry," he added.

To contact the author of this article, email