Ticketmaster Invests in Facial-Recognition Technology
Ticketmaster has invested in facial-recognition technology that it said could lead to faster access to events along with increased protection against fraud.
Parent company Live Nation confirmed in a note to investors that it had entered a financial arrangement with Blink Identity to develop the system. “We will continue investing in new technologies to further differentiate Ticketmaster from others in the ticketing business,” Live Nation said. “It is very notable that today we announce our partnership with, and investment in, Blink Identity, which has cutting-edge facial recognition technology, enabling you to associate your digital ticket with your image, then just walk into the show.”
While it’s not known how far the Blink system has advanced, the developers have claimed that identities can be confirmed within half a second, suggesting that, if imaging systems were set up appropriately, fans could indeed “just walk into the show” without having to stop to present evidence of their purchase.
However, the setting up of such a system raises privacy concerns, especially in light of recent scandals affecting Facebook’s sharing of personal information without users’ permission. “While [the technology] sounds convenient, it also means that concert venues would have to be outfitted with surveillance equipment," the Verge noted. "And on perhaps an even worse note, it means that Ticketmaster – a company everyone hates more with each new convenience fee tacked onto their bill – would need to develop a database of all its concertgoers’ faces, which a lot of people aren’t going to be comfortable with.”
A British firm recently announced that ticket security technology based on the Bitcoin cryptocurrency was to be trialed in the coming months, which could put an and to many types of ticket fraud including fakes and out-of-contract reselling.