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Tom Morello, Kathleen Hanna, Deerhoof Sign Petition Against Amazon Palm Scanners

“Introducing biometric surveillance technology at events ... makes music fans less safe,” director of Fight for the Future, Evan Greer, said.
Amazon Palm Readers
Marlene Awaad/Bloomberg via Getty Images

A recent open letter by the nonprofit Fight For The Future is urging music venues to halt the implementation of Amazon palm scanners and similar types of ID. Rage Against The Machine’s Tom Morello and Bikini Kill’s Kathleen Hanna are two of many against the use of these new ticket and entry alternatives, which are vulnerable to hacking in the cloud, its data could be targeted by law enforcement, and make marginalized groups more vulnerable, the letter argues. The letter calls specifically on the Red Rocks Amphitheater in Morrison, Colorado to end its use of palm scanning.

“Palm scans and other forms of biometric data collection, like facial recognition, are tools of state violence,” Siena Mann, campaign manager for the Colorado Immigrant Rights Coalition, said in a press release. “Once the databases are created, police and DHS will find ways to access them.” Deerhoof, Mannequin Pussy, Sadie Dupuis, Jeff Rosenstock, Martha (the band), and Anjimile are among the various artists that have signed the petition.

Amazon has had a notable history of sharing private data with law enforcement, the press release furthers. In 2019, facial recognition technology was successfully rejected as an alternative entry format by a petition against various festivals and venues that used it. Just like palm scanning, facial recognition cannot be changed or replaced if stolen, making both technologies dangerous.

“Music festivals and many concert venues are already unsafe, exclusive, and inaccessible for many marginalized folks, including trans and nonbinary people,” Evan Greer, director of Fight for the Future, said in the press release. “Introducing biometric surveillance technology at events, even just for the marginal-at-best ‘convenience’ of making the line move faster, makes music fans less safe.”

Greer posted the open letter on Twitter today: “More than 200 artists and 30 leading human rights organizations have signed this open letter led by @fightfortheftr calling on @RedRocksCO @aegpresents @axs to cancel plans to use Amazon palm scanning biometric surveillance devices at concerts.” More information can be found on the new “No Amazon Palm Scanning at Red Rocks” website.