Over 100 musicians unite in boycott against facial recognition at concerts

Jun 29, 2023

Dunja Djudjic

Dunja Djudjic is a multi-talented artist based in Novi Sad, Serbia. With 15 years of experience as a photographer, she specializes in capturing the beauty of nature, travel, and fine art. In addition to her photography, Dunja also expresses her creativity through writing, embroidery, and jewelry making.

Over 100 musicians unite in boycott against facial recognition at concerts

Jun 29, 2023

Dunja Djudjic

Dunja Djudjic is a multi-talented artist based in Novi Sad, Serbia. With 15 years of experience as a photographer, she specializes in capturing the beauty of nature, travel, and fine art. In addition to her photography, Dunja also expresses her creativity through writing, embroidery, and jewelry making.

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More than 100 famous musicians, including Tom Morello and Zack De La Rocha of Rage Against the Machine, have united in a boycott against venues that use face-scanning tech. Organized by the digital rights advocacy group Fight for the Future, this boycott defends digital rights. They believe this tech has no place at live events, and they’re aiming to ban it.

Facial recognition technology has been under controversy for a while now. While it can be used for a good cause, we’ve seen many more cases where it wasn’t exactly so. Back in May, the police received fierce criticism for using live facial recognition technology at a Beyoncé concert in Cardiff. And this particular move started after Madison Square Garden reportedly used this tech. Of course, it wasn’t for a good cause: they reportedly used it to identify and kick out lawyers who were suing them.

Other than the RATM musicians, Boots Riley, Wheatus, Anti-Flag, and the Downtown Boys are some of the other musicians who joined the boycott and signed the pledge not to use facial recognition at their shows. And it’s not just the artists, it’s also some indie venues in the U.S. that are taking a stand against facial recognition. They include House of Yes in Brooklyn, the Lyric Hyperion in Los Angeles, and Black Cat in D.C. These venues have also promised to stay clear of facial recognition tech for their shows.

Fight for the Future spokesperson Leila Nashashibi said in a press statement:

“Surveillance tech companies are pitching biometric data tools as ‘innovative’ and helpful for increasing efficiency and security. Not only is this false, it’s morally corrupt. For starters, this technology is so inaccurate that it actually creates more harm and problems than it solves, through misidentification and other technical faultiness. Even scarier, though, is a world in which all facial recognition technology works 100% perfectly – in other words, a world in which privacy is nonexistent, where we’re identified, watched, and surveilled everywhere we go.”

pledge reads that biometric surveillance is “invasive” and unsafe, “especially for Black and brown people who have been falsely arrested or ejected from public places due to the tech’s baked-in discrimination.”

“In recent years, a coalition of musicians, fans, and human rights groups successfully got more than 40 of the world’s largest music festivals, including Bonnaroo and Coachella, to say they won’t use facial recognition at events. But now this tech is starting to spread — not only as a surveillance tool, but also as a form of ‘paperless’ ticketing and payment.”

Having all this in mind, it’s not surprising that people are rising up against this potentially harmful practice. And with this pledge, it looks like the music industry is ready to hit a different note regarding privacy.

[via NME]

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Dunja Djudjic

Dunja Djudjic

Dunja Djudjic is a multi-talented artist based in Novi Sad, Serbia. With 15 years of experience as a photographer, she specializes in capturing the beauty of nature, travel, and fine art. In addition to her photography, Dunja also expresses her creativity through writing, embroidery, and jewelry making.

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