You know facial recognition has become mainstream when one of pop’s biggest stars joins the likes of the Chinese Communist Party in surveilling the public. At a Swift concert in California’s Rose Bowl this past May, Swift’s security teams installed a kiosk that displayed highlights of her rehearsals for the show that fans coming to the concert could stop and take a look at. The only thing is, as that fans did this, little did they know they were being watched too.
That’s because the kiosk had a camera in it that immediately recorded an image of each person and then sent these images thousands of miles away to Swift’s Nashville, Tennessee “command post,” where facial recognition tech was used to identify if any of the concertgoers were one of the hundreds of Swift’s known stalkers, reports Rolling Stone.
At no time were those concertgoers, who thought the kiosk was only there so they could watch Swift’s rehearsal footage, made aware of the fact that their image was being recorded and scanned into a database controlled by Swift and her security team. And rather shockingly, this isn’t against the law, as a concert is technically a private event and thus concert organizers can use virtually any kind of surveillance techniques they want to on unsuspecting attendees.
And you thought Facebook or a major government would be some of the first to become Big Brother.