Musicians and activists Tom Morello and Evan Greer have penned an op-ed describing the dangers posed by facial recognition, as well as touching on their campaign’s progress in having music festivals denounce the technology.
The piece touches on the myriad issues with facial recognition technology. Most disquieting is the proven racial and gender bias present in the technology, and the potential for abuse of the system by authorities. As the technology is rolled out across the world to varying degrees, the campaign is highlighting the need for vocal opposition. Regulation, Morello and Greer argue, is not enough:
“Surveillance profiteers who hope to make a lot of money selling facial recognition software to governments and private interests are now on high alert. They’re watching closely for public reactions, running tests to see just how much intrusive monitoring we’re willing to put up with. They’re manipulatively calling for regulation – a trap intended to assuage public fears while hastening adoption. They’re promising that facial recognition can be done in an “opt-in,” manner, ignoring the inherent dangers in corporate harvesting and storing of biometric data. But we can draw a line in the sand now, and shut down this unethical human experiment by pushing for legislation to ban facial recognition, and refusing to support corporations who use it.”
The campaign has meant over 40 festivals, including Bonnaroo, Coachella and Austin City Limits, have gone on record saying they will not use facial recognition technology.