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Facial biometrics applied to concert ticketing and bar bans – but 31 percent of people don’t trust the tech

Businesses are planning to use biometric facial recognition to enforce broad bans against certain individuals attending concerts or bars, but the public may not be comfortable enough with the technology to accept such applications, as a survey from PCMag shows 31 percent of people do not trust facial recognition.

Security startup SentiaGPRhas launched a ticketing platform that uses facial recognition to match concertgoers to social media accounts so that they can be monitored to ban individuals purchasing tickets with stolen credit cards, scalpers, and potentially even detect terrorists, TicketNews reports.

CEO Richard Ryan told the Daily Mail that the technology establishes a “geo-fence,” and monitors posts to more than 40 social media platforms from within it. It also provides buyer identity verification.

“Terrorists want to put this information out there to say what they are going to do. We can put a geo-fence around any arena in the world, in any language, and monitor it,” says Ryan. “If someone comes up as a threat, we analyse that person’s profile by going to different places on the web where we can make a decision on risk.”

The company plans to market the technology to ticket providers and venues, and eventually extend the platform to mass transit stations and other crowded places.

Biometric bar ban

PatronScan from Servall Biometrics says it has used its biometric ID-scanning bar security systems to compile a networked list of more than 40,000 customers banned from various bars, and has collected information on over 10,000 bar patrons in Sacramento in a single day, according to a OneZero.

The company shares information between bars, including personal information about customers, such as where they live, and provides information to police on request. It claims to have been used in more than 200 cities, and scanned ID from 60 million bar customers, which OneZero says would make it the largest ID scanning company in North America.

The PatronScan kiosk scans government-issued ID, recognizing roughly 5,000 different ID documents from around the world, and alerting staff if an ID has already been used or is fake. A typical system costs $4,200 per year, according to the company.

ACLU of Northern California Technology and Civil Liberties Attorney Matt Cagle says the confidential ban list is an invitation for problems, and that “it’s hard to see how that makes anyone more safe.”

Changes to California law have resulted in the system storing data for 30 days, instead of the default 90 days, and bans for “private” and “other” reasons have been eliminated.

Survey shows low trust

PCMag recently asked 2,000 consumers about what situations facial recognition is suitable for, and found that only 19 percent see it as appropriate for paying bills and making purchases online.

Preventing crime and detecting criminals is considered a fair use by 37 percent, the highest of any application. Less commonly accepted are use by airlines to identify passengers and reduce wait times (28 percent), for access to and authentication on mobile devices (26 percent), and for healthcare needs (25 percent).

With each of those markets already seeing significant adoption of facial recognition, and excepted to grow significantly, a tension seems to be developing between popular opinion and popular use.

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