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Ticketmaster Might Soon Replace Tickets With Facial Recognition

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In the future, you might be able to walk into a concert with just your face, no ticket required. Ticketmaster and Live Nation have invested in a company called Blink Identity that claims to have sophisticated facial recognition technology.  ( Andrew Parsons | WPA Pool/Getty Images )

Going to a concert might soon be as easy as literally walking inside the venue, with no tickets required.

In the future, people might be able to walk into concerts without waiting in line with their tickets. Instead, the venue will use facial recognition to confirm the user's identity and let them through.

Ticketmaster, Live Nation Want Faces To Replace Tickets

At least that's a method Live Nation and Ticketmaster are trying to develop. The companies recently invested in Blink Identity, a startup that claims to have the technology able to identify people in "half a second" even as they're walking and not looking directly into the camera. Its cutting-edge facial recognition technology will enable users "to associate your digital ticket with your image, then just walk into the show."

The move is part of Ticketmaster's plan to "differentiate itself from other ticketing services," Live Nation wrote to investors last week.

Why This Might Be Problematic

On paper, the plans certainly sound revolutionary, but on second thought, it poses potentially huge problems.

First, implementing facial recognition technology would force venues to put up the necessary surveillance equipment as specified by Blink Identity's requirements. If so, it's not immediately clear which party will shoulder the cost, but it's easy to imagine that concert venues will balk at such plans if money is required on their end.

Second, facial recognition means Ticketmaster will have a database of all its concertgoers' faces, which, given the current climate around data scandals and user privacy, doesn't sound all too appealing. Not to mention that people already loathe Ticketmaster as it stands, what with its opportunistic billing methods, so why would they hand over facial data? Just for the convenience of not having to wait in line with a ticket? The cons certainly outnumber the pros, but it's clearly something the companies think is worth exploring and investing in.

For now, Ticketmaster and Live Nation's plans are highly notional. There are no specifics put in place as to how such a technology will work, let alone if it truly works well as Blink Identity claims it does.

Would you like being allowed inside a venue through facial recognition, or would you much prefer for things to stay traditional? If ever, would you be comfortable knowing Ticketmaster will have your face in its database? As always, if you have anything to share, feel free to sound them off in the comments section below!

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