Facial recognition security may soon come to NHL games, suggests a new report from TSN. The idea is to screen those entering hockey arenas for potential criminals and other security risks.
It’s not yet a matter of open discussion, but TSN’s report asserts that a “senior executive with one NHL club” told its journalist that he anticipates facial recognition technology being implemented by his team and others “within the next two years.” And Peter Trepp, the CEO of facial recognition specialist FaceFirst, told TSN his firm only started targeting the sports sector in the last six months, and is already “very much in play with a number of stadiums, stadium management companies and teams.”
For Trepp, the interest in this area may reflect excitement generated in the mobile sector when Apple announced its iPhone X’s Face ID facial recognition system, after which he told Bloomberg his firm was “getting lots of calls” from prospective clients.
News of the NHL’s interest in this kind of security comes amid growing adoption of biometric screening at sporting events. South Wales Police implemented facial recognition security ahead of a major soccer match in Cardiff earlier this year, and a new partnership between the organizers of the TSA PreCheck biometric screening program and the New York Jets may point toward future biometric screening at football games.
For now, the NHL isn’t commenting officially, but there are very real concerns about potential terror attacks in the wake of recent incidents at crowd-packed events, and it’s fair to expect that organizers want to protect fans and keep violence on the ice only.
October 19, 2017 – by Alex Perala