Taylor Swift subjects unaware fans to face recognition technology at Rose Bowl concert

(Image: screenshot)

Taylor Swift fans unknowingly surrendered their privacy at a Los Angeles concert for the pop star earlier this year.

A high-tech effort to identify stalkers was used at Swift’s Rose Bowl concert in California in May as a kiosk showing rehearsal footage for her “Reputation” tour also housed a hidden camera taking photographs of fans stopping by to watch the footage, according to Rolling Stone.

The images were then reportedly sent to a “command post” in Nashville where they were cross-referenced with a database hundreds of Swift’s stalkers.

(Image: screenshot)

“Everybody who went by would stop and stare at it, and the software would start working,” Mike Downing, chief security officer of Oak View Group, told Rolling Stone. The company serves as an advisory board for concert venues, such as New York City’s Madison Square Garden and the Forum in Los Angeles. The maker of the facial-recognition software reportedly invited Downing to the May concert.


Swift has been the target of many stalkers, with several prominent ones getting arrested and sentenced.

According to The Guardian:

In September, she got a restraining order against Eric Swarbrick, who had been harassing her with letters threatening rape and murder since September 2016. In April, 38-year-old Julius Sandrock was arrested outside her Beverly Hills home. He was wearing a mask and had a knife in his car, and told police that he had driven from Colorado to visit the singer. Swift took out a restraining order against him in May.

Also in May, Mohammed Jaffar was sentenced to six months in jail and five years’ probation having been convicted for burglary after he appeared at Swift’s New York home five times in two months.


In another strange case this year, Roger Alvarado broke into Swift’s New York City home in April, took a shower and fell asleep. He pleaded guilty this month to attempted burglary and criminal contempt but accepted a plea deal of six months behind bars.

Meanwhile, privacy concerns have been raised over the images being captured by the new technology at events. But according to The Guardian, “concerts are technically private events, and Swift has no obligation to notify ticket holders that they may be surveilled.”


The Grammy-award winning singer, who just turned 29 this week, provided another option for fans who don’t want to surrender their privacy in order to watch a concert film of the tour.


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