Ticketmaster wants to make the transition from paper tickets to facial recognition, but due to privacy reasons, country artist Dierks Bentley rejects the idea.
The singer explained to Broadway’s Backyard that he is not a fan and believes it is very unsafe.
“The 23 and Me ancestry stuff where you’re basically giving people your DNA profile, and then the facial recognition, now that’s in a computer system somewhere,” Bentley said. “No matter where you go, like in Home Depot, they could just go, ‘Oh there he is in aisle 7, looking for blinds. We bought this facial recognition system and got all this information from Ticketmaster for a billion dollars, and now we can just track you everywhere you go.’
He said that the idea of facial recognition freaks him out, and although he wants fans to have access to tickets and not overpay for shows, this isn’t the way to go.
“Personally I wouldn’t want to do that when I go to a show,” he said. “I go to a lot of concerts. Let me just give my ticket. Wand me and let me go have a good time.”
Ticketmaster has partnered with Blink Identity, a facial recognition technology which allows fans to have their face associated with their ticket, so after scanning their face, they can simply walk into the venue. In Ticketmaster’s earnings report last month, it was stated that the company will “continue investing in new technologies to further differentiate Ticketmaster from others in the ticketing business.” Vulturebeat.com explained that Blink claims its sensor can recognize the person’s face at a full speed rate of 60 per minute. This new technology could also be used for in-venue purchases, VIP access, and even be tied to a credit card on the concert-goers Ticketmaster profile.
Although the idea sounds glamorous, there are many personal privacy concerns. If the system is ever hacked, the hacker could walk away with the customer’s face, details, and payment methods. This new feature could lead to various face scanning fees and potential harassment issues for minorities. Additionally, this would take a huge hit to the secondary market, since people’s faces would be locked to their ticket.
Bentley, who is currently on his Mountain High Tour, just wants the concert experience to be memorable for fans, and not have any distractions or privacy concerns looming on their minds.
“I just want this to be fun for me at the end of the day,” he said. “… It’s about my life. I want to have a great summer, have a lot of fun, make a lot of great memories, be totally present from the second we get there on-site, thinking of the fans’ experience when they first pull into a tailgate to when they leave and get home safely.”
Bentley’s record, The Mountain, just dropped today. Visit Ticket Club to find tickets to see him on tour this year.