Published: Fri, December 14, 2018
Life&Culture | By Sue Mclaughlin

Taylor Swift Used Facial-Recognition Tech On Unknowing Fans To Find Stalkers

Taylor Swift Used Facial-Recognition Tech On Unknowing Fans To Find Stalkers

In what appears to be a nightmare dressed like a daydream, concertgoers' images were snapped up when they watched a display screening Swift's rehearsal clips, because there wasn't just a blank space behind - rather, a camera was hidden inside. That may be changing soon, as Netflix just dropped the first trailer for Taylor Swift Reputation Stadium Tour, a concert documentary that chronicles the last show of the bestselling artist's USA leg of her reputation album tour.

"Everybody who went by would stop and stare at it, and the software would start working", security officer Mike Downing told Rolling Stone.

Unbeknownst to her fans at her a California concert, many were secretly scanned using facial recognition technology.

While some have raised privacy concerns over the ownership and storage of the images, concerts are technically private events, and Swift has no obligation to notify ticket holders that they may be surveilled.

However, many followers have taken the term a step further and turned it into actual stalking, resulting in fear and arrests for a number of A-listers - including Taylor Swift.

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In April, one of the star's stalkers was found sleeping by police at her home in NY after reports of a break-in. In September, Swift sought a restraining order against another fan who had sent death threats.

Then earlier, in April, Julius Sandrock was arrested outside Taylor's Beverly Hills home, wearing a mask and with a knife in his auto.

He also had a knife, a rope and ammunition on him, police said.

You know facial recognition has become mainstream when one of pop's biggest stars joins the likes of the Chinese Communist Party in surveilling the public.

It's unknown if the system managed to match any concert-goers with those listed on the database, how long the data may be held for or if the singer is planning to use it at future concerts.

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