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Peter Van Buren

UK Police Scanned the Faces of 100,000 People at Music Festival

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Hey, Big Brother? It’s me. Can we talk about facial recognition please?

The Download Festival

See, the police used facial recognition technology to scan the faces of thousands of attendees at the Download music festival in the UK without their knowledge.

The excuse the Leicestershire Police used was that they were trying to catch “organized criminals” who specifically target music festivals to “steal mobile phones,” according to a report in Police Oracle. The collected footage is compared against a database of custody images to identify the criminals, in this case, an alleged music festival phone-robbing crime ring that nobody seemed to have heard about prior to it becoming the justification for searching an entire crowd who did nothing but show up to hear some tunes.

The festival saw 91 arrests out of 100,000 people. Most were for alcohol-related mishaps, none for phone theft.
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