Taylor's gonna spy, spy, spy, spy, spy... fans can't shake cam off, shake cam off

Swifties' faces scanned against DB of 'known stalkers' at US gig – reports


Spotify's one-time nemesis Taylor Swift has reportedly used controversial facial recognition tech on fans while they've been getting down to her sick beats.

According to Rolling Stone, the Rose Bowl venue in California rolled out the tech at her 18 May concert, in a bid to spot anyone on Tay Tay's long list of 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.

"Everybody who went by would stop and stare at it, and the software would start working," Mike Downing, chief security officer of an advisory board for concert venues, who saw a demo of the tech, is quoted as saying.

The images were then sent to a "command centre" and cross-referenced against potential stalkers. There is no detail of which company makes the kiosks, where the images are stored or how long they are kept for.

The move could create bad blood with Swifties who would prefer not to be covertly filmed, but the venue isn't the first to use face-scanning technology.

In August, it was revealed that the Tokyo 2020 Olympics will roll out automated systems from Japanese biz NEC to speed up security checks for staffers and athletes.

And in the UK, the police have been using the tech at major sporting events and demonstrations in the hope of spotting known troublemakers, while the Department of Homeland Security was recently reported to be testing it to track people walking in and around the White House.

The use of the technology is controversial, due in part to a lack of evidence that it works all that well, and the fact there is little in the way of regulation for the technology in the countries using it.

Meanwhile, as privacy becomes an increasingly mainstream debate, critics are taking the opportunity to emphasise how invasive the widespread use of such technology could be for large groups of people.

But perhaps Swifty would tell those with privacy fears to shake it off. ®

Narrower topics


Other stories you might like

  • 381,000-plus Kubernetes API servers 'exposed to internet'
    Firewall isn't a made-up word from the Hackers movie, people

    A large number of servers running the Kubernetes API have been left exposed to the internet, which is not great: they're potentially vulnerable to abuse.

    Nonprofit security organization The Shadowserver Foundation recently scanned 454,729 systems hosting the popular open-source platform for managing and orchestrating containers, finding that more than 381,645 – or about 84 percent – are accessible via the internet to varying degrees thus providing a cracked door into a corporate network.

    "While this does not mean that these instances are fully open or vulnerable to an attack, it is likely that this level of access was not intended and these instances are an unnecessarily exposed attack surface," Shadowserver's team stressed in a write-up. "They also allow for information leakage on version and build."

    Continue reading
  • A peek into Gigabyte's GPU Arm for AI, HPC shops
    High-performance platform choices are going beyond the ubiquitous x86 standard

    Arm-based servers continue to gain momentum with Gigabyte Technology introducing a system based on Ampere's Altra processors paired with Nvidia A100 GPUs, aimed at demanding workloads such as AI training and high-performance compute (HPC) applications.

    The G492-PD0 runs either an Ampere Altra or Altra Max processor, the latter delivering 128 64-bit cores that are compatible with the Armv8.2 architecture.

    It supports 16 DDR4 DIMM slots, which would be enough space for up to 4TB of memory if all slots were filled with 256GB memory modules. The chassis also has space for no fewer than eight Nvidia A100 GPUs, which would make for a costly but very powerful system for those workloads that benefit from GPU acceleration.

    Continue reading
  • GitLab version 15 goes big on visibility and observability
    GitOps fans can take a spin on the free tier for pull-based deployment

    One-stop DevOps shop GitLab has announced version 15 of its platform, hot on the heels of pull-based GitOps turning up on the platform's free tier.

    Version 15.0 marks the arrival of GitLab's next major iteration and attention this time around has turned to visibility and observability – hardly surprising considering the acquisition of OpsTrace as 2021 drew to a close, as well as workflow automation, security and compliance.

    GitLab puts out monthly releases –  hitting 15.1 on June 22 –  and we spoke to the company's senior director of Product, Kenny Johnston, at the recent Kubecon EU event, about what will be added to version 15 as time goes by. During a chat with the company's senior director of Product, Kenny Johnston, at the recent Kubecon EU event, The Register was told that this was more where dollars were being invested into the product.

    Continue reading

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2022