Digital rights advocacy group Fight For the Future has launched a campaign that calls on Ticketmaster and its parent company, Live Nation to ban facial recognition at its concert venues and festivals.
Fight For the Future’s deputy director Evan Greer says it could incite police harassment, misidentification and discrimination thanks to what it dubs “Big Brother-style biometric surveillance.”
The group has been joined by a coalition of musicians and activists that claim to fundamentally disagree with the face-scanning technology being used as an entry method at events, rather than presenting a ticket.
Artists standing against facial recognition technology at concerts and festivals include Speedy Ortiz, The Glitch Mob, and Rage Against The Machine’s Tom Morello.
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
Greer said: “Facial recognition surveillance is uniquely dangerous. It doesn’t keep fans or artists safe, it just subjects them to invasive, racially biased monitoring that will inevitably lead to fans getting harassed, falsely arrested, deported, or worse.
“We’re calling on all artists to stick up for their fans’ basic rights and safety by speaking out against the use of Big Brother-style biometric surveillance at live music events.”
In 2018, Live Nation and Ticketmaster announced it would be investing in facial recognition firm Blink Identity to introduce it at its venues, meaning physical tickets would not be needed.
Taylor Swift deployed the technology at her 2018 Rose Bowl performance to search the crowd for “known stalkers” of the pop star.