In January, over 90,000 fans that attended the college game in Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California, experienced data breach without them knowing. Through the use of facial-recognition software, the identifications of the fans such as age, gender, whether they are carrying a weapon or not, and their criminal records were accessed by the tech company.
Four hidden cameras found in Sports Arena
According to Fox News, a college sports event against two teams, Oregon Ducks versus Wisconsin Badgers were held in January. Over 90,000 fans of each team attended the competition.
As fans look for their seats in the arena, they did not know that four hidden cameras from Philadelphia-based company, VSBLTY were surrounded around the stadium, underneath digital signs near the FanFest activity area.
The cameras were said to be recording each face of the fans walking by and secretly analyze their personal info. Worse, all the attendees of the event did not know that there were cameras, snooping on their info.
A fan that attended the game said that they were scared when they first heard about this illegal act. It was described as 'concerning' for the fan.
"I actually had no idea they were using that type of tech at the game, nor was I informed that I would be recorded or analyzed by such tech," Benjamin Mercke of California told OneZero that first reported the "Actually, that's incredibly concerning to me."
VSBLTY explains the cameras needed for 'audience study'
The Philadelphian company explains that the cameras were not intended to cause fear or harm to the people that attended the event.
It was actually an experiment for 'audience study' in order to help easily obtain data of customers to enhance their consumer experience.
"Traffic count and other venue data collected, when combined with machine learning, can help improve operational efficiencies and venue logistics. Facts about fans, their habits and actions-in addition to demographic and psychographic information-will help plan audience activities as well as serve as a tool to validate the value of on-site advertising impressions to sponsors," the statement read.
"High tech video cameras combined with video display signage were strategically placed in front of the stadium where pre-bowl game fan activities were staged to collect key audience information through signage analytics," the message continued. "Along the pathway to the stadium, four cameras were deployed at different locations among "Fan Fest" activities that included two FESCO units displaying archived videos of Rose Bowl legendary players and advertising messaging."
Microsoft bans facial recognition sales
This week, Tech Times reported that Microsoft, which offers the same technology of facial recognition, also said that they will soon ban the tech for police forces.
"We have been focused on this issue for two years," he explained. "We've decided that we will not sell facial-recognition technology to police departments in the United States, until we have a national law in place, grounded in human rights, that will govern this technology."
Other companies like Amazon also prohibits this type of tech.