Facial recognition tech may be coming to Music Festivals 

“Concert promoters in the U.S. are stepping back from plans to scan festivalgoers with facial recognition technology, after musicians and others gave it some serious side-eye.

Although it remains entirely possible that music venues will eventually take a second look at the controversial technology.

Live-entertainment giants AEG Presents and Live Nation both recently disavowed any plans to use facial recognition at music festivals, despite earlier indications to the contrary. Their public pronouncements have led a group of musicians to declare victory after a months-long campaign to halt the technology’s use at live shows.

Advances in computer vision have enabled businesses to install cameras that can recognize individuals by their face or other biometric characteristics. Venue operators have talked about using the technology at gateways to secure entry for select groups or to offer perks for repeat customers.

Privacy advocates worry that such uses might also pave the way for greater intrusions, such as scanning audience members in real time to analyze their behavior.

Both concert organizations seemed to be edging toward remembering more faces. In May 2018, for instance, Live Nation subsidiary Ticketmaster announced it was partnering with and investing in Texas facial recognition startup Blink Identity, saying in a note to shareholders that its technology will enable music fans to associate their digital ticket with their image and “then just walk into the show.’

AEG, which operates the Coachella festival in southern California and other major events, updated its online privacy policy earlier this year with language stating that it may collect facial images at its events and venues for “access control,” creating aggregate data or for “personalization” — a term commonly used by retailers trying to tailor advertising or promotions to a specific customer’s behavior.” Read More

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