The world of concerts continues to change, and one of the latest innovations is not suitable for a number of artists and special interest groups. Tom Morello, Anti-Flag, Kathleen Hanna of Bikini Kill and others have signed an open letter demanding that Red Rock Amphitheater abandon their use of Amazon One’s new palm-scanning technology.
As pointed out in a website accompanying the open letter, Amazon, Red Rocks, ticketing company AXS and parent company AEG have pitched the technology as a convenience mode, but artists and groups argue that it opens the door to more biometric surveillance for them. businesses and governments. The device allows people to enter the premises with a scan of their palms rather than using a paper or digital ticket.
When addresses and credit cards can change over time, a person’s biometrics cannot be changed, making it easier to identify and track spectator activities and interactions. The technology is already in use in some stores, where people can pay “without a card”. And Red Rocks is the first concert hall to launch new technology for spectators.
It is also pointed out that this allows state agencies like DHS and law enforcement agencies to be able to systematically target and monitor people of color and social activists. Additionally, data collected from palm scanners will be stored in the cloud, posing potential security vulnerabilities, according to the website. It’s also suggested that the introduction of Amazon’s palm scanners could lead to increased verification of data by law enforcement at shows, leading to potential ICE arrests and raids at concerts. And along with biometric data relating to your physical being, if it gets hacked, that information could be in the hands of hackers for your entire life.
“Live performances are meant to be about creative expression, community and joy. They should be places where people can feel safe and free. data collection immediately. Let’s fight for live event experiences – and an unattended world – built around true security for all, ”a post on the website read.
In addition to Morello, Anti-Flag, and Hanna, other artists who signed the petition include Mannequin Pussy, Deerhoof, Jeff Rosenstock, DIIV and more. Check out the open letter they are sending below and find out more via the website here.
As human rights groups, artists and music fans, we call on Red Rocks Amphitheater, AXS and AEG Worldwide to immediately cancel all contracts with Amazon for Amazon One’s invasive palm-scanning technology. , and to ban all biometric surveillance once during events and places. and for all.
For many of us, concerts and live events are some of the most memorable and enjoyable experiences of our lives. The spread of biometric surveillance tools like palm scans and facial recognition now threatens to destroy that, turning these spaces into hotspots for ICE raids, bogus arrests, police harassment and stolen identities.
In 2019, more than 40 of America’s biggest music festivals, including Burning Man, Coachella, South by Southwest, and Lollapalooza, responded to activists’ demands to reject invasive facial recognition technology at their festivals.
The introduction of palm scanning devices is a slap in the face for fans and performers who have fought so hard to promote the safety of all at live events. It’s only a matter of time before we hear of cases of palm scans identifying people in the same way facial recognition does – often with violent and upsetting consequences – but most concerning. is the fact that this new technology will make the data of thousands of people. people vulnerable to ongoing government monitoring and abuse AND malicious hackers.
AEG is one of the many companies that have taken a strong stand against the use of facial recognition at their festivals. Red Rocks, AXS and AEG must now go further and reject palm scanners and all other forms of invasive biometric monitoring. The marginal convenience at best of scanning a hand instead of a ticket is no excuse for implementing technology that will exacerbate violent systems and cause damage. Our privacy, security and lives are at stake.
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Music has the power to move people. It also has the power to make them take action.