Lerner & Rowe Music News

RATM’s Zack de la Rocha & Tom Morello pledge to boycott venues using facial recognition technology

Rage Against The Machine In Concert - New York, NY
Astrida Valigorsky/Getty Images

Rage Against the Machine‘s Zack de la Rocha and Tom Morello have signed a pledge to boycott venues using facial recognition technology.

The initiative, spearheaded by the organization Fight for the Future, criticizes facial recognition technology as nonsecure, discriminatory and inaccurate.

“Surveillance tech companies are pitching biometric data tools as ‘innovative’ and helpful for increasing efficiency and security,” Fight for the Future campaigner Leila Nashashibi says in a statement to Rolling Stone. “Not only is this false, it’s morally corrupt.”

“For starters, this technology is so inaccurate that it actually creates more harm and problems than it solves, through misidentification and other technical faultiness,” Nashashibi continues. “Even scarier, though, is a world in which all facial recognition technology works 100% perfectly — in other words, a world in which privacy is nonexistent, where we’re identified, watched, and surveilled everywhere we go.”

In 2022, The New York Times reported that MSG Entertainment, which owns New York City venues including Madison Square Garden, used facial recognition technology to identify and remove attendees working for law firms involved in legal disputes with the company.

In signing the pledge, artists declare, “We want everyone to feel safe and welcome at shows, so we commit to not allow venues to use invasive surveillance tech like facial recognition at shows we play by updating our rider to require this or boycotting venues that won’t accommodate this request.”

Others who’ve signed include filmmaker and musician Boots Riley and the bands Anti-Flag, Wheatus and Speedy Ortiz.

For more info, visit BanFacialRecognition.com.

Copyright © 2023, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.