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Facial recognition software used to detect security risks at Taylor Swift Los Angeles concert

Facial recognition software used to detect security risks at Taylor Swift Los Angeles concert
December 14, 2018

Entertainment superstar Taylor Swift used facial recognition technology during a concert at Los Angeles’ Rose Bowl stadium earlier this year in an effort to spot fans in the 59,000 crowd who might have presented a security threat.

The Rolling Stone magazine reports that the technology was implemented during the US popstar’s gig at the stadium on 18th May.

Fans unknowingly had their faces scanned while watching rehearsal clips of Swift at the stadium. Recordings were then sent to a command centre in Nashville, Tennessee where they were checked against a database of hundreds of Swift’s known stalkers.

Mike Downing, Chief Security Officer of Oak View Group, which advises venues on concert operations, told Rolling Stone “everybody who went by would stop and stare at it, and the software would start working.”

Downing attended the Rose Bowl concert to witness a demonstration of the technology.

As a private company, the Rose Bowl was not obligated to inform fans that they were under surveillance and while some have raised privacy concerns over the ownership and storage of the images, concerts are technically private events.

The surveillance was undertaken based on Swift having a number of known stalkers rather than their being a wider security or public safety threat.

The use of facial recognition software is rising at public events. Ticketmaster has invested in startup Blink Identity, which aims to move fans through entry points more efficiently and combat touting.

The investment forms part of plans to integrate the company’s technology with its own Presence tool.

Israeli artificial intelligence company AnyVision said it was working with an undisclosed London arena to reduce bottlenecks at turnstiles.

In April, Chinese police used the technology to arrest a man attending a Jacky Cheung concert in Nanchang. The man, who was wanted for ‘economic crimes’, was located among a crowd of 60,000 concert goers.

A recent UN report criticised the use of facial recognition by Police in the United Kingdom during a peaceful demonstration as disproportionate and unnecessary. Human rights groups have began legal action in the UK over the use of automated facial recognition by Police.

Image: Taylor Swift during her Reputation Stadium Tour in Australia earlier this year.

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19th October 2018 - Ticketmaster acquires live events industry blockchain technology company UPGRADED

29th August 2018 - Skidata looks to expand provision of people access solutions across Australasia

7th August 2018 - Tokyo Olympics organisers confirm use of facial recognition technology for 2020 Games

2nd August 2018 - Suncorp Stadium and The Gabba to install facial recognition security cameras

16th July 2018 - Pollstar Mid-Year Charts show soaring ticket prices as Ed Sheeran’s tour breaks records

15th March 2018 - Victoria’s digital innovation recognised with hosting of Magnify World Expo 2018

3rd December 2017 - Tokyo Disneyland looks to introduce facial recognition for pass holder access

13th November 2017 - Facial recognition to drive new sporting revenues

21st August 2017 - Federal Government security plan says bollards key to protecting people in public places

9th June 2017 - Facial recognition being considered for Gold Coast Commonwealth Games access

8th December 2015 - Attraction, event and venue operators given advice on how to protect patrons in a mass shooting

18th December 2014 - Etihad Stadium gets global recognition as an entertainment venue


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