The faces of those attending the event were scanned trying to find some of the singer’s stalkers
Taylor Swift has again generated controversy. The singer, who once came into conflict with Spotify, decided to use polemic facial recognition technology during one of her concerts in the United States. According to experts in digital forensics from the International Institute of Cyber Security, the Rose Bowl in California implemented this technology in the concert that Swift offered last May, all with the intention of detecting one Swift’s many stalkers.
The plan, which seems out of a sci-fi movie, featured concert attendants who were photographed by a hidden camera on a screen that showed some pictures and clips from Taylor Swift’s rehearsals. “All those who pass by the screen stop to take a look, so this type of software is activated,” said Mike Downing, security advisor for this kind of events.
The images of the attendants were sent to a command center, where they were contrasted with the records of potential stalkers. So far there is no information about the company that manufactures these systems, or where or for how long this information will be stored, experts in digital forensics mentioned.
This could be a risky tactic of the singer, because surely many of her fans would prefer not to be photographed without consent, but this will not be the only time when facial recognition is used during a massive event. Last August, experts in digital forensics and cybersecurity reported that the Japanese authorities will launch a similar system during the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games to manage the safety checkpoints of athletes and staff.
On the other hand, the British police have carried out tests with this type of software in relevant sporting events; they hope to detect problematic individuals, while the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) tries to use facial recognition to detect suspicious people in the vicinity of the White House.
The use of this kind of technology is controversial because of the scarcity of evidence to support its usefulness, in addition to the little or no regulation on this technology in most of the countries where it has been implemented. In addition, this kind of software is considered to be a threat to people’s privacy, it is not clear how invasive the massive use of this technology can be.