Ticketing big-hitter trials cutting-edge tech, but will it work?

In what is perhaps the most useless application of emerging technology, Ticketmaster has set out to solve a problem that society simply doesn’t have. Handing over a ticket or scanning a barcode on your smartphone’s screen are simply too time consuming; instead, we should put our trust in facial recognition software. At a mere $300-per-ticket price tag for a top-billing concert event, what could possibly go wrong?

Unfortunately, plenty. Ticketmaster doesn’t have the world’s best reputation when it comes to issues like website security and privacy. What safety measures are in place to protect the public when their virtual mug shots are gathered up and stored–without much transparency as to how and who can access them–by a company with lax protocols?

Ticketmaster Tests Facial Recognition Concert Tickets

It sounds like a good idea, but there may be drawbacks.

No precedent

One of the more alarming issues is the “technology before legislation” roll out of this kind of innovation. Illinois, Texas, and Washington are the only states in the US to have laws in place that protect consumers in the event a company misuses or abuses their biometric markers; currently, there is no federal law to protect the public.

Data for sale?

Then there’s the “Facebook angle,” which means Ticketmaster could take it upon itself to sell your data to a third parties who want to use it for any purpose that their terms and conditions allow. Once that facial marker is out there, there’s no telling who can access it and where it can end up.

Oh, and this

There’s another problem with facial recognition technology that could really come back to haunt Ticketmaster customers: it simply doesn’t work. The data on successful identification, especially in crowds, demonstrates that we’ve got a long way to go. Discovering at the gate to a hot-ticket event that a fan’s face isn’t matching up will be a PR nightmare for both Ticketmaster and the headliner act.