Apology for OMRON Group Company's use of image data for research and development
July 14, 2014
The following is a report and apology regarding our group's use of image data for research and development as reported in the media today (July 12).
An outline of the case is as follows.
(1) Re: Use of image data exceeding the bounds of the permission provided by the facility manager.
OSS (then known as Social Systems Solutions & Service Business Company, OMRON Corporation) was contracted by the National Institute of Information and Communications Technology (NICT) to do "Research and Development on Advanced Image Monitoring Sensor Network Technology" from 2006 to 2010. In the course of this, image data entrusted to the company through work contracted with the East Japan Railway Company (JR-East), was used without permission. We had explained to other facility managers that the image data entrusted to us would be used for research and development purposes in-house, but it was used without confirming the detailed purpose of use. Having confirmed this matter, we have apologized to JR-East, NICT, and all involved parties, and are conducting an internal investigation to determine the cause and prevent any re-occurrence. Further, regarding the handling of the research and development in question, we will consult with the parties involved before dealing with it appropriately. The image data used in the research and development has already either been returned to the respective facility managers or disposed of. Further, the image data has not been leaked.
(2) Re: Filming without permission in a commercial facility.
OSS is participating in a subsidized program of the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science, and Technology called "Human Image Analysis System Development" which is to develop technology that can understand human movement with the goal of safety and peace of mind. As a part of this process, OSS company employees recorded still and moving images and in May and July 2012 at the Kyoto Station building without permission from the facility manager, and used them for research and development. Also it was used in events such as academic conferences. Having confirmed this matter, we have contacted the facility manager and all related parties, and conveyed the information and our apology. Further, regarding use of that research and development, we will consult with the related parties and handle it appropriately. Additionally, suitable measures have been taken to secure the image data, and it has not leaked. Regarding disposal of the image data, we will handle it appropriately after consulting with the related parties.
At OSS, we have always operated on a basis of in-house regulations, engaging in employee education and system development of information management, but now we are sincerely examining what brought on the current situation, and are making extensive steps to prevent a re-occurrence. We have established a committee to prevent re-occurrence, we will further improve management levels and further revise and strengthen the process of thorough employee education.
OMRON Corporation President and CEO Yoshihito Yamada gave the following statement: "I deeply apologize for the trouble and worry caused to everyone. I am taking this incident very seriously, and while it goes without saying that OSS will implement thorough measures to prevent a re-occurrence, we will also implement a thorough review and reinforcement of information management and compliance throughout the OMRON Group. All of the company, we will work to recover trust in the company."