Taylor Swift used facial recognition technology to scope out stalkers at her concert
Taylor Swift has a blank space, baby, where she’ll write your name and scan your face. Facial technology has moved out of sci-fi movies and into the real world, including Swift’s May 2018 Rose Bowl concert. While facial tech can be used for everything from unlocking iPhones to generating menu suggestions, the singer used it to help catch potential stalkers.
Rolling Stone reports that at Swift’s May 18th concert at the Rose Bowl in Los Angeles, fans were unknowingly being screened with facial recognition technology. If concertgoers stopped by a kiosk to watch rehearsal footage, a camera photographed them and sent the pictures to a “command post” in Nashville. There, the photographs could be checked against a database of Swift’s known stalkers.
"Everybody who went by would stop and stare at it, and the software would start working," Mike Downing, chief security officer at concert venue advisory board Oak View Group, told Rolling Stone.
Swift has dealt with a scary amount of stalking and break-ins over the past few years. In April, a man broke into her apartment and slept in her bed. And according to The Guardian, in September, she issued a restraining order to Eric Swarbrick, a man who had been sending her rape and death threats for two years.
It’s definitely a little unnerving to think that security teams might be scanning your face at public events, but as The Verge points out, using facial recognition software in this manner is legal. It could soon be commonplace, too. Engadget notes that Ticketmaster recently invested in a startup called Blink Identity, which can rapidly identify people walking past its sensors.
In Swift’s case, using facial recognition software for security is totally understandable. But what are your thoughts on facial recognition cameras at other concerts?