Facial recognition technology has become more and more popular over the past few years, but artists have called out Ticketmaster to drop plans of using the technology at concerts and other live events. Now, a handful of festivals have jumped on the bandwagon.
According to Fortune, the digital rights advocacy group Fight For The Future recently launched its Ban Facial Recognition campaign to fight the use of the technology, calling it “unreliable, biased, and a threat to basic rights and safety.” The campaign has issued a “festival report card,” which shows event organizers Bonnaroo, Pitchfork, Governors Ball, and Electric Forest are among those who vowed not to use facial recognition. They join artists like Rage Against The Machine’s Tom Morello, Sadie Dupuis of Speedy Ortiz, singer Amanda Palmer and the rappers of Atmosphere.
Fight For The Future’s Deputy Director Evan Greer told fortune that he’s organizing this now to “prevent this from becoming something that spreads quickly to live music events.”
“The technology is becoming more ubiquitous,” she said. “It’s becoming less expensive. It’s important that we do this before it becomes kind of baked in, because it’s much harder to put the genie back in the bottle once it’s out. Now is really our moment to stop it.”
The campaign urges that the technology could put undocumented fans, fans of color, trans fans, and fans with criminal records at risk or being detained or harassed at a concert. The technology would allow immediate identification of fans on security camera feeds and put their faces into a permanent government database. Green notes that the technology is “uniquely dangerous” and are asking fans and artists to support the campaign to make sure the surveillance does not take place at concerts.
Previously, the facial recognition technology has been used at a Taylor Swift concert in Los Angeles – which caused an uproar in the media. The popstar implemented to technology to scan the crowd for her “known stalkers,” but those in the industry had privacy concerns.
For more information about the campaign, visit banfacialrecognition.com.