Musicians and fans alike are demanding that Ticketmaster stop utilizing facial recognition technology at concerts.
Last year, Ticketmaster announced that they would begin using facial-recognition devices to admit ticketholders, who wouldn’t need to present a physical or digital ticket. Live Nation, Ticketmaster’s parent company, revealed that they’d partnered with Blink Identity, a brand that develops cameras and stware that identify individuals’ faces. (Like GPS, this technology was initially created by and for the government.)
Blink Identity’s equipment is so advanced that, according to their website, each ticketholder would be admitted in real time—that is, without slowing down or stopping at the gates—if his or her identity matched that the digital ticket’s owner.
Music fans who are opposed to facial-recognition technology believe that it would compromise the safety, privacy, and overall experiences attendees. For instance, one’s facial prile could be filtered through a law enforcement database in a matter seconds; those who are wanted for arrest or questioning — or who may be wanted — could conceivably be apprehended before the concert’s end.
The opposition movement has united around “Ban Facial Recognition,” a comprehensive campaign that’s rallying companies, organizations, and individuals to provide their opinions on the use facial-recognition technology in the United States.
The multifaceted campaign even fers information that specifically details the negatives using the technology at concerts and festivals.
Multiple artists, including Rage Against the Machine’s Tom Morello, Amanda Palmer, Atmosphere, and others have already backed the campaign. Though Ticketmaster doesn’t hold authority over the artists who sell tickets through their platform, it’s important to note that Live Nation owns Bonnarroo, Austin City Limits, and several other festivals.
Fight for the Future’s Deputy Director, Evan Greer, anticipates that support from fans and musicians will grow in the coming weeks and months. Fight for the Future was founded in 2011, and it promotes causes related to copyrights, censorship, and online privacy, amongst other things.
At the time writing, Ticketmaster, Live Nation, and Blink Identity hadn’t publicly responded to Fight for the Future’s campaign.