October 14, 2014 -
Fans of Hungarian soccer team Ferencvaros (or “Fradi”) came en masse to their home stadium in Budapest to protest a new biometric ID system used for entry to home matches, and chanted “Down with the scanner,” according a Reuters report.
Biometric ID systems have become somewhat commonplace in soccer, and in other sports as well. The Dutch club ADO Den Haag has a facial recognition system at its entrance that takes around five seconds per impression.
At the Fradi stadium, which is the site of the Hungarian protests, there are palm vein scanners created by Hungarian company Biosec Kft. The scanners identify fans based on five million palm vein data points which takes about a second.
The video below shows the BioSec Lifepass system in action.
Proponents of biometric ID in stadiums say that it helps prevent “hooliganism” in the stadium by making it difficult for dangerous individuals to enter. This is the prerogative of soccer organization UEFA, which is trying to crack down on violence in stadiums.
Yet, protesters argue that violent incidents in Hungarian stadiums have dropped tremendously in the past decade or two, making this an unnecessary measure on top of already strict stadium rules and security.