With the amount of mass shootings and other tragic events taking place during gatherings with large crowds Taylor Swift took a huge ‘Not Up In Here!’ stance by implementing facial recognition software at one of her past shows. File this under: Smart wrapped in creepy.
The Verge reports the reasoning behind this tactic, used at Taylor’s show at California’s Rose Bowl this past May, was to weed out any stalkers that may be in attendance. Um, I’ve always been under the impression that EVERYONE who goes to a Taylor Swift concert is a damn stalker because her entire catalog is required listening. You Belong to Me? Bad Blood?
All jokes aside this measure seems creepy but isn’t necessarily a bad idea. These are some scary times we live in, and even though in most instances the word “security” conjures up images of big beefy dudes ready to knock you out if you step out of line, the technology they used wasn’t intimidating at all. It was actually unnoticeable.
Swift’s facial recognition system was built into a kiosk that displayed highlights of her rehearsals, which would secretly record onlookers’ faces. According to Rolling Stone, which spoke with a concert security expert who observed the kiosk, attendees who looked at the kiosk were immediately scanned. Afterward, the data was sent to a “command post” in Nashville, Tennessee that attempted to match hundreds of images to a database of her known stalkers.
Dawg, that’s equal parts innovative as invasive as hell. However the scariest part is that it’s not illegal to do so since concerts are considered private events and security can be handled in whatever way the artist or venue sees fit. These same efforts were implemented at a concert in China earlier this year.
This past April, Chinese police arrested a 31-year-old suspect who was hiding among nearly 60,000 people during a concert at Nanchang International Sports Center. This was made possible by the early stages of China’s own “Xue Liang,” or “Sharp Eyes,” monitoring system, which will be tasked with monitoring the movements of its citizens.
This is the wave of the future people. Even Ticketmaster is getting in on the action by hoping to one day replace movie tickets with facial recognition software. I guess that means you’d be assed out if you got a facelift between the last movie you saw and the next. Fair warning plastic surgeons; get all your coins NOW.