Taylor Swift event uses secret facial recognition

Fans at pop star's show in California's Rose Bowl had their faces scanned by hidden camera at kiosk.

Image credit: instagram.com/taylorswift
Image credit: instagram.com/taylorswift

The use of facial recognition technology has been a subject of debate for some time in the MICE industry, but it was recently revealed that fans of pop star Taylor Swift unknowingly had their faces scanned at a California Rose Bowl concert in May.

Security organisers said the facial recognition technology was being used to look for Swift’s "known stalkers".

According to Rolling Stone, the facial recognition cameras were hidden in a kiosk showing video clips of Swift’s rehearsals and the images were sent to a security command post in Nashville.

"Everybody who went by would stop and stare at it, and the software would start working," said Mike Downing, chief security officer of Oak View Group, an advisory board for concert venues.

Earlier this year, Banks Sadler's head of event solutions, Mark Scales, asked whether the technology opens up hyper-personal experiences or could become a privacy nightmare.

He said: "The software is already being used in China as an almost constant surveillance device, helping to eliminate crime and give their government a high level of control over people’s lives."

Permission for the use of facial scanning technology at Swift’s concert was not needed under US law because it was a private event.

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