Police Scanned Faces of Everyone at Download Festival 4


Alexander J. Martin reports on the Register website that people attending the Download Festival had their faces scanned by a Police facial recognition system, and there was surveillance of their on-site location and expenditure via RFID wristbands.

Attendees faces were scanned using a system called NeoFace and then compared with a database of “lawfully held European custody photographs”.  The original plan was for attendees not to have been told about the surveillance until after the event; however, publication of an article in the Police Oracle revealed the surveillance plan in advance.

In addition RFID wristbands had to be used to make purchases and move about the festival with no opt-out possible.  A significant concern with the use of these RFID wristbands, is that Download’s privacy policy stated that information collected via the RFID cashless payment wristbands, would typically be shared with third-party companies to establish the users interests, purchases and household type as an aid to profiling for advertising purposes.