Ticketmaster appears to be considering swapping concert tickets for face scans.
The potential plans came to light in the Q1 update of its parent company Live Nation, which revealed that the company had partnered with and invested in a facial recognition specialist called Blink Identity. The company’s technology is designed to scan individuals’ faces as they are walking and to instantly match them against a preloaded database. For Ticketmaster, that means a system letting event organizers easily identify ticket holders without the need to scan actual tickets.
Such a system would certainly offer a certain degree of convenience for Ticketmaster customers and event organizers alike, but it would also entail the compilation of a biometric database of Ticketmaster customers, which could cause some feelings of unease among the latter. As such, it isn’t yet clear whether Ticketmaster really plans to go ahead with implementing this technology extensively; but, as The Verge reports, in a note to investors, Live Nation framed the Blink Identity partnership as part of its ongoing investment in “new technologies to further differentiate Ticketmaster from others in the ticketing business.”
That having been said, this wouldn’t be a world’s first. Back in 2016, for example, concert promoters in Japan used facial recognition technology to identify members of a certain girl group’s fan club and allow venue access, while a theme park in China replaced its own ticketing system with face scanning. And with facial recognition increasingly being used for passenger screening at US airports, it may just be a matter of time before Americans get comfortable with face-based ticketing.
May 8, 2018 – by Alex Perala