Business News Live Business

100+ artists pledge to boycott venues that employ facial recognition technology

By | Published on Tuesday 27 June 2023

A US-based campaign group called Fight For The Future last week announced that more than 100 artists have pledged to boycott venues that use facial recognition technology in their buildings. Among those backing the boycott are Tom Morello, Zack De La Rocha, Wheatus, Deerhoof and Anti-Flag.

The campaigners state: “Invasive facial recognition is spreading throughout the live entertainment industry, but a growing number of law-makers, artists, business owners and other advocates are speaking out against this technology”.

Specific concerns, they add, are potential uses of that tech for “supercharging existing surveillance and discrimination, creating opportunities for mass-scale biometric identity theft, chilling free speech and social movements, and increasing life-threatening encounters between people of colour and violent police through false matches”.

Fight For The Future previously called on music festivals to make commitments to the effect that they would never employ facial recognition technology, citing the same concerns. Venues are now also under pressure to make the same commitment, with the group last week naming more than 25 American venues that have done just that.

The use of this technology in the live entertainment space has been in the news recently after it emerged that MSG Entertainment was using it to deny entry to its venues to lawyers working on any litigation against the company.

That led to New York’s Attorney General Letitia James sending a letter to the Madison Square Garden operator stating that the use of facial recognition technology in that way “may violate the New York civil rights law and other city, state, and federal laws prohibiting discrimination and retaliation for engaging in protected activity”.

READ MORE ABOUT: | | | | |