More than 100 artists, including Rage Against the Machine co-founders Tom Morello and Zack de la Rocha, as well as Boots Riley and Speedy Ortiz, have announced a boycott of any concert venue that uses facial recognition technology. This is reported by Rolling Stone.
They cite concerns that the technology violates privacy rights and increases discrimination.
The boycott was organized by the digital rights group Fight for the Future. It calls for a ban on face-scanning technology at all live events.
Several smaller independent venues in the US, including Brooklyn’s House of Yes, Los Angeles’ Lyric Hyperion, and Washington’s Black Cat, have already pledged not to use facial recognition technology at their concerts.
“Surveillance tech companies are pitching biometric data tools as ‘innovative’ and helpful for increasing efficiency and security. Not only is this false, it’s morally corrupt,” noted campaign activist Leila Nashashibi.
According to her, the technology is imprecise, so it creates more harm and problems than it solves.
This is not the first time that Morello and some other signatories have called for a ban on biometric technology in high-profile venues. In 2022, the Red Rocks Amphitheater in Denver abandoned Amazon’s palm-reading technology after protests by artists and Fight for the Future.