Last year, it was reported that Ticketmaster’s parent company, Live Nation bought facial recognition company Blink Identity to test the tech out in the concert field.
Then, Blink’s research and design has led to development of a system where a peripheral device can “register an image of your face as soon as you walk past a sensor”. Also, Live Nation was boasting of the partner’s ability to “associate your digital ticket with your image, then just walk into the show.”
However, many people are worried it could be used for bad. Organization Fight for the Future is asking for the surveillance to be banned for fear of companies singling out audience members for other purposes such as harassment or arrest.
“Ticketmaster — owned by the same company as Bonnaroo, Austin City Limits, Electric Daisy Carnival, Electric Forest, and more — is investing in facial recognition technology, which puts undocumented fans, fans of color, trans fans, and fans with criminal records at risk of being unjustly detained, harassed, or judged. 24/7 mass surveillance will not keep concerts safe. We can stop this,” the Fight for the Future site reads upon entry.
The technology could lead to immigrant fans being deported or fans’ faces being inputted into a government database, the site explains. Additionally, it warns of fans being arrested for outstanding charges or drug use and shows and much more.
The coalition encourages people to protest online with tweets in support of a ban they are attempting to push, which man artists did.
“I don’t want Big Brother at my shows targeting fans for harassment, deportation, or arrest,” Tom Morello of Audioslave and Rage Against The Machine wrote in support on Twitter.
I don’t want Big Brother at my shows targeting fans for harassment, deportation, or arrest. That’s why I’m joining this campaign calling on @Ticketmaster and others not to use #facialrecognition at festivals and concerts. https://t.co/i3a9oPIa5C
— Tom Morello (@tmorello) September 9, 2019
Also, Anti-Flag posted the petition, saying that “people should feel safe and respected at festivals and shows, not subjected to invasive biometric surveillance.”
People should feel safe and respected at festivals and shows, not subjected to invasive biometric surveillance. Today @fightfortheftr is launching a new campaign mobilizing artists, fans, and promoters to oppose the use of #facialrecognition at events. https://t.co/novnJAnpFY
— Anti-Flag (@anti_flag) September 9, 2019
In addition, many other artists and fans have joined the fight online against such technology. You can see some of their posts below.
— ATMOSPHERE (@atmosphere) September 9, 2019
— 🍂Brian Fallon🍂 (@thebrianfallon) September 9, 2019
— Laura Stevenson (@laurastevenson) September 9, 2019
people should feel safe & respected at shows, not subject to surveillance, harassment, deportation, or arrest. please join me and @fightfortheftr to tell @Ticketmaster & others not to use #facialrecognition at festivals and concerts https://t.co/vdIKF2hbKo #DontTrackFansAtShows
— Amanda Palmer is about to tour the UK/EU (@amandapalmer) September 9, 2019
Now, what do you think of these musicians protesting facial recognition technology at shows and festivals associated with Ticketmaster? Sound off in the comments down below!