At some point in the undefined future, you might not need a ticket or a barcode on your phone to get into a show. You might just need your own face. The Verge reports that Live Nation and Ticketmaster have invested in a tech company called Blink Identity, which claims to be able to identify people in “half a second” by facial features alone. According to a note from Live Nation to its investors, this tech could let you “associate your digital ticket with your image, then just walk into the show.”
There are obvious benefits to this technology. It would be a whole lot easier to leave the house without making sure you’ve got your hard-copy tickets on you, or without having to pull up whatever apps or emails include the barcode you’ll need to get into the show. And with terrorism fears still rampant, maybe it’ll feel safer to know that there’s a record of everyone in the building.
On the other hand, virtually everyone who has ever used Ticketmaster to buy a ticket fucking hates Ticketmaster. Do you feel comfortable with this company having a scan of your face just sitting around on its hard drives? Even if they don’t sell it to Cambridge Analytica, this feels stetchy. Also, I am not looking forward to waiting around while my local bouncers and box-office people fumble around with facial-recognition machines.
There are no immediate plans to put this tech into use yet, but when you think about it, it starts to feel like a matter of time, doesn’t it?