Tom Morello credit Tom Barnes
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Tom Morello Rallies For Facial Recognition Software To Be Banned From Concerts

Morello believes facial recognition software puts fans at risk of being unjustly detained, harassed, or judged.”

Phones at concerts have become a controversial topic among musicians, with artists including Judas Priest’s Rob Halford and Slipknot’s Corey Taylor taking pretty decisive action against phone photos being taken at their shows. One such artist is Tom Morello, who received backlash when he tossed a selfie-taking attendee’s phone into the crowd (and responded to it with gusto). But now, Tom is leading a different campaign against cell phone use — the guitarist is urging Ticketmaster to ban facial recognition software at his shows.

Tom is one of many artists taking part in a new campaign to stop the use of fascial recognition software being implemented at concerts.

Ticketmaster — owned by the same company as Bonnaroo, Austin City Limits, Electric Daisy Carnival, Electric Forest, and more — is investing in facial recognition technology, which puts undocumented fans, fans of color, trans fans, and fans with criminal records at risk of being unjustly detained, harassed, or judged,” says the coalition’s website. 24/7 mass surveillance will not keep concerts safe. We can stop this.”

READ THIS: 73 per cent of gig-goers don’t mind cell phone use at shows

The site goes on to point out that facial recognition software could cause:

  • Deportation of immigrant fans
  • Misidentification and harassment of fans of color
  • Fan faces and names to be permanently added to government databases
  • Identification and arrest for outstanding criminal charges during an event
  • Arrest for minor offenses, like drug use, at an event
  • Immediate identification of fans on security cameras
  • Matching fan faces to their home addresses and billing details

Other artists who have joined the campaign include Amanda Palmer, rapper Atmosphere, Anti-Flag, and Thievery Corporation. 

The site asks that fans, artists, and venues share the following image:

Fight For The Future Facial Recognition Infographic

The campaign makes a persuasive argument against the use of facial recognition software at concerts. This same talking points were used to dissuade people from using the FaceApp old age filter, and the software has been cited as a way for police to access and search one’s phone without their consent.

READ THIS: Japanese grindcore targeted by Chinese government surveillance

Posted on September 12th 2019, 3:50p.m.
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