Taylor Swift uses facial recognition to detect stalkers

Occurred: December 2018

Taylor Swift's security team covertly used facial recognition to identify stalkers during her 2018 Stalker tour, raising questions about the stated purpose and nature of the programme, and the use of biometric technologies at entertainment events.

Images of Swift fans were being captured in kiosks and transferred to a 'command post' in Nashville where they were cross-referenced with a database of hundreds of the pop star’s known stalkers, according to RollingStone.

The Guardian later revealed that Swift's security operation ISM Connect installed cameras behind kiosks marked as 'selfie stations' which scanned the facial features of fans. While the use of the data remained unclear, ISM's website stated it used 'smart screens' to simultaneously enhance security, advertise, and collect demographic data for brands.

ICM Connect has since gone offline.

Operator: UMG/Taylor Nation
Developer: ISM Connect

Country: USA

Sector: Media/entertainment/sports/arts

Purpose: Identify stalkers

Issue: Privacy

Transparency: Governance; Marketing

Page info
Type: Incident
Published: October 2023
Last updated: November 2023