Comcast may be the most hated company in America, but Ticketmaster has sure given it a run for its money, through a combination of monopolism, rent-seeking, shady dealing with scalpers and total indifference to its customers and the entertainers it nominally serves, but as bad as it is, there's still plenty of innovative ways for it to get worse.
Ticketmaster division Live Nation has invested in a facial recognition company called "Blink Nation," which honed its tools by developing large-scale biometric ID systems for the Pentagon. Now this military contractor proposes to assemble a facial database of young music fans, which they will have to use in order to participate in cultural events, which is, I'm sure, not even a little sinister.
These systems are unlikely to provide any real authentication value, but they certainly have a lot of potential for inspiring dystopian social controls.
Further, if Ticketmaster collects data on facial recognition, then that's one more potential source for the government's surveillance efforts. It doesn't help that Blink spent a decade developing and deploying large scale biometric identification systems for the Department of Defense. Finally, if hackers breach the company's system, then they could get away with its customers' face and details, maybe even including the payment method they used to purchase tickets.
Ticketmaster hopes to speed up event access by scanning your face [Mariella Moon/Engadget]
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