After a campaign against facial recognition technology has taken off, Live Nation says it’s not “currently” using the tech.
A campaign launched by Fight for the Future seeks to ban facial recognition at music festivals. The human rights movement has gained support from artists like Tom Morello of Rage Against the Machine and The Glitch Mob.
Tweets from the non-profit called out major music festivals like Coachella, South by Southwest, and Riot Fest. The campaign asked these festivals to ban the use of facial recognition technology. Live Nation — the parent company of Ticketmaster — recently partnered with facial recognition firm Blink Identity, a company that can accurately scan, ID, and store facial data even when a person is moving.
The partnership, which also includes a substantial investment by Live Nation, is supposed to explore how the tech could replace tickets for a “walk-in” experience.
Ticketmaster controlled around 80% of the U.S. ticket sales market even before the Live Nation merger.
We reached out to Live Nation to ask if they are planning to implement the technology. A spokesperson for Live Nation sent us this statement:
“Ticketmaster is always exploring new ways to enhance the fan experience, and while we do not currently have plans to deploy facial recognition technology at our ‘clients’ venues, rest assured, any future consideration would be strictly opt-in, always giving fans the right to choose.”
When pressed if the company is currently using any facial recognition technology, the rep confirmed they are not. Meanwhile, several smaller venues are making promises to attendees to ban the tech. Most recently, Punk Rock Bowling and USC Events have re-affirmed their commitment to ban facial recognition.
The opt-in portion is a stickler for Fight for the Future. Many opt-ins can be hidden in terms of service where the average person won’t see it.
The organization argues that if Ticketmaster isn’t planning to use the recognition technology for surveillance, they should commit to that. Fight for the Future worries that the tech could be used in other nefarious ways to prey on human psychology and emotions to generate more sales.