Facial Recognition Technology Used at Taylor Swift Concert

Ticketmaster Data Breach Exposes Customers’ Credit Card Details

Taylor Swift use of facial recognition technology at her concerts is causing privacy concerns. During a May 18th Rose Bowl concert Swift’s security detail used facial recognition cameras on concert attenders in an attempt to catch stalkers.

Unfortunately, Taylor Swift has been having an ongoing issue with hundreds of stalkers following her around. During her concert she set up hidden facial recognition cameras in a display showing Swift’s rehearsal clips. As concertgoers would pass by and view the videos, images of their faces would be cross-referenced with a database containing images of her known stalkers.

Taylor swift and her team has not responded to this report yet. However, Mike Downing, chief security officer of an advisory group for concert venues, went to the concert to view a demonstration of the system stated:

“Everybody who went by would stop and stare at it, and the software would start working”

The use of artificial intelligence (AI) to catch her stalkers at her concert raises privacy concerns. Swift’s security team deceived concertgoers into looking into the cameras which captured their faces. Although, this technology is a great way to catch felons, there are great implications by targeting innocent people. Further, there is no information available on how the data is managed or stored. Are the images of the concertgoers deleted afterwards or are the images later shared with third parties?

Concertgoers should have been informed their faces would be scanned for security reasons. They should also be informed about the technology that is being used and how their images will be used. People have a right to know their faces are being scanned.

The American Civil Liberties Union, ACLU, responded saying:

“If concert officials didn’t think people would mind, there’s no reason they shouldn’t have done so. If they did think that their customers would mind, but did it anyway, that’s pretty shady. Security people are used to operating with secrecy, but this is a novel, controversial, and very powerful technology, and people have a right to know when they’re being subjected to it”

This is the first time the use of facial recognition at such an event has occurred and it is likely this will be a trend that will continue. Ticketmaster, has already invested in Blink Identify, a company that develops sensors that can identify people as they walk in just half a second. Ticketmaster hopes to use this technology to reduce the time concertgoers spend in lines and make the process more efficient.


If you believe your privacy is at risk or has been compromised contact LIFARS.