Ticketmaster is teaming up with Blink Identity, a company that specializes in facial recognition technology. Using this technology, Ticketmaster customers will be able to associate their facial data with their ticket, which will then allow them simply walk through an event’s ticketing checkpoint without forking over a printed sheet of paper (how quaint) or displaying your smartphone.
Blink says that its “military grade software” software is able to scan 60 people per minute as they walk “full speed” past stationary sensors. But the facial recognition technology isn’t only useful for ticketing purposes; it can also be used inside the venue.
“Concert goers can use their face – literally – to buy drinks, swag, enter VIP areas, and more,” writes Blink. And what might be worrying to privacy advocates is how that facial data might be used. The company goes on to add, “It’s also possible to collect usable and sharable data on each person that walks through our biometric entry gateway.”
There is also the fact that these systems will be scanning faces of all concert goers; not just those that bought a ticket through Ticketmaster. What happens to that facial data? Neither company is giving any information on data storage this early in the game.
Between the inflated prices and additional fees that are tacked on to tickets, Ticketmaster is definitely one of the most controversial companies in America. Couple that notoriety with storing customers’ facial data, and we can see how this might be a bit disconcerting; especially given how easily companies are being compromised these days.