Taylor Swift reportedly used facial recognition technology to detect stalkers at Rose Bowl concert

By Andrea Park

/ CBS News

Taylor Swift reportedly used facial recognition software to detect potential stalkers at her Rose Bowl concert in May, according to Rolling Stone. Fans attending the May 18th show who watched a display of Swift rehearsing were the unwitting targets of a facial-recognition camera that reportedly took their photos.

Rolling Stone reports that the images taken by the camera were transferred from Passadena, California, to a Nashville "command post," where they were checked against a database of Swift's hundreds of known stalkers. Mike Dowling, chief security officer of Oak View Group, an advisory board for concert venues, told Rolling Stone, "Everybody who went by would stop and stare at it, and the software would start working." Downing said he attended the concert and saw a demo of the system. Swift's team did not comment.

Taylor Swift performs at Wembley Stadium in London, June 22, 2018. Simon Dawson / REUTERS

It's not clear who owns the pictures and what ultimately happened to them, but Rolling Stone reports that it's not the only time facial recognition technology was used at a major event.

In May, Ticketmaster invested in a startup called Blink Identity, saying that the software could allow ticket-holders to "associate your digital ticket with your image, then just walk into the show." Blink claims that its sensors can identify people walking past them without slowing down.

Justin Burleigh, Ticketmaster's chief product officer, told Rolling Stone, "It holds a lot of promise. We're just being very careful about where and how we implement it."

Facial recognition technology is on the rise in other industries as well. In November, Delta opened the nation's first biometric airport terminal in Atlanta.The system allows passengers to go from curb to gate and onto the plane without showing their passports.

Children's camps are also using facial recognition technology to help alert parents when there are new photos of their kids.

First published on December 13, 2018

© 2018 CBS Interactive Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Andrea Park

Andrea is an entertainment producer at CBSNews.com

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