30,000 Unsuspecting Rose Bowl Attendees Were Scooped Up in a Facial Recognition Test

Dave Gershgorn:

On New Year’s Day 2020, more than 90,000 college football fans piled into the Rose Bowl Stadium in Pasadena, California, to watch the Oregon Ducks play the Wisconsin Badgers.

It turns out some of those fans were being watched, too. Before they even entered the stadium, thousands of attendees were being captured by a facial recognition system in the Rose Bowl’s FanFest activity area by an ad tech company called VSBLTY.

Four cameras hidden underneath digital signs captured data on attendees, generating 30,000 points of data on how long they looked at advertisements, their gender and age, and an analysis to try and identify weapons or whether they were on a watch list of suspicious persons.

Three fans who attended the Rose Bowl game and spoke to OneZero said they didn’t remember seeing any notice that they were being surveilled.