Taylor Swift: Facial recognition 'used to ID stalkers' at show

Brenda Watkins
December 14, 2018

The kiosk set up at the site of Taylor Swift's Rose Bowl concert in May stopped many fans in their tracks, and they came in closer for a look.

Mike Downing, chief security officer of Oak View Group, an advisory board for concert venues including Madison Square Garden in NY and the Forum in Los Angeles, told Rolling Stone magazine a special kiosk was set up at Swift's Rose Bowl show in May.

Mike Downing, chief security officer of Oak View Group, an advisory board for concert venues told Rolling Stone: 'Everybody who went by would stop and stare at it, and the software would start working'.

As fans walked around the venue, many of them stopped at a kiosk that played Swift's rehearsal footage.

Even though the security measures taken at Taylor Swift's event could be considered extreme, it isn't the first when facial recognition technology has been used to weed out unwanted people. The data was then sent to a location in Nashville, Tennessee where the images were checked against a list of Swift's known stalkers.

Taylor Swift uses facial recognition on concert-goers to weed out stalkers

It's unclear who owns the images of concertgoers and how long they can be kept for.

Roger Alvarado, 22, pleaded guilty to attempted burglary and criminal contempt earlier this month.

Swift's representatives have not replied to requests for comment. The system's target? Hundreds of Swift's stalkers.

Just a few days before, another man was arrested outside her home in Beverly Hills wearing a mask and rubber gloves. He was wearing a mask and had a knife in his auto, and told police that he had driven from Colorado to visit the singer. Bosses at Ticketmaster are also considering using facial recognition technology at concerts, but say they will be "careful" about its implementation due to privacy concerns.

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