PNNL Installs Cameras at Toyota Center for National Research - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

PNNL Installs Cameras at Toyota Center for National Security Research

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KENNEWICK, Wash.-- You may not think hockey has much to do with national security, but at Saturday's Americans game the Toyota Center will serve as the test site for some important research.

Pacific Northwest National Laboratories will install video cameras on Saturday to gather data for a Department of Homeland Security research project.

The video will focus on PNNL staff members only to learn more about facial recognition technology.

"This technology is part of a bigger scheme to make the borders of our country safer and more secure," said Marcia Kimura, PNNL researcher.

PNNL is gathering video of their staffers walking by eleven cameras that will be mounted Saturday in three places along the arena concourse and the entrance.

"Collecting the video and the faces of the individuals from PNNL that have volunteered to help us and then we'll send that as a package to the Department of Homeland Security so that they can start evaluating the state of facial recognition technology," Kimura said.

Hockey fans won't be the target of the video, only the PNNL workers walking by the cameras will be included in the research.

Signs will be posted where the cameras are recording if people feel uncomfortable being filmed.

PNNL also bought 48 seats so people won't have to pass through that area if they don't want to.

Toyota Center personnel say they wanted to be a part of the research for a greater good with the potential to advance our country's safety.

"The upside potential, the safety for all of us, it far, far outweighs any impedance that we thought to our customers or guests coming though the door," said Corey Pearson, Toyota Center Executive Director.

Researchers say the PNNL participants will wear ankle bracelets like the one's marathon runners wear to monitor their time.

The bracelet will record when the PNNL volunteer crosses the camera locations and the data will be used as a bench mark for testing the facial recognition technology.

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