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Musicians join campaign to ban facial recognition at concerts

Recently, it was announced that the American company Ticketmaster, owned by Live Nation, the same company as Bonnaroo festival and Electric Daisy Carnival, would be investing in facial recognition technology.

Digital rights advocates Fight For The Future then started a campaign called Ban Facial Recognitionopposing the introduction of the technology to venues events and clubs, and musicians, festivals and venues and jumped on board to support the campaign

Digital Rights advocates Fight For The Future have started a campaign called Ban Facial Recognition, calling for the banning of the use of facial recognition technologies at music events.

Ban Facial Recognition have listed the possible repercussions of facial recognition technology in the US, highlighting the deportation of migrant festival-goers, privacy issues, such as matching images of event go-ers to their home addresses and purchasing details, patrons names and details becoming available in permanent government databases, and the misidentification and harassment of people of colour.

Since the announcement of Ticketmaster’s investment, industry figures and fans have shared their support for the Ban Facial Recognition campaign. Artists including Speedy Ortiz, The Glitch Mob, and Rage Against The Machine’s Tom Morello have joined activists to call for a ban on face surveillance at live events.

“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,” said Evan Greer, Fight For the Future’s deputy director, in a statement emailed to VICE. “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.”

Fight for the future also posted about the movement to Twitter, stating that “music fans should feel safe and respected at festivals and shows, not subjected to invasive biometric surveillance. Today we’re launching a new campaign mobilizing artists, fans, and promoters to oppose the use of #facialrecognition at live music events.”

You can find out more about Fight For The Future’s campaign, and sign their petition here.


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September 12, 2019