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Opinion

MLB Teams Launches Alarming ‘Facial Recognition’ Program

Photo Illustration Philadelphia Phillies Baseball Stadium via PixaBay License

The Philadelphia Phillies are poised to become the next Major League Baseball team to introduce a cutting-edge facial recognition program for accessing Citizens Bank Park.

The team is currently testing the facial recognition system at its first base gate, aiming to streamline the entry process for fan.

This program is sponsored by the league itself.

The facial recognition system employs cameras to capture images of fans as they enter the park, subsequently cross-referencing these images with the photos provided by fans in advance.

This comparison generates a unique numerical identifier. Once the system confirms the fan’s identity, their ticket is automatically validated, allowing them to enter without the need to display physical tickets or engage with gatekeepers, enhancing the entry experience.

No need to stop or even get a phone out,” MLB says. “Fans can now enjoy the ultimate hands-free, free-flow experience entering the ballpark with their eyes up.”

The Phillies have introduced a feature that is accessible to fans aged 18 and older and can be opted out of at any time.

During a game the system did encounter issues that deviated from its intended functionality, undermining the system’s intended purpose.

The cameras began unintentionally detecting unregistered fans and erroneously marking them as paid attendees.

The Phillies are not the pioneering team in launching this facial recognition system. The New York Mets had already implemented a similar system at Citi Field.

Facial recognition systems have faced criticism from multiple angles.

Such systems have proven to be unreliable for law enforcement, leading to erroneous arrests based on flawed results.

Furthermore, privacy advocates express apprehension over the mass storage of countless facial images, fearing it could facilitate widespread invasions of privacy and unauthorized government surveillance.

A recent example is the IRS’s decision to abandon a facial recognition program due to a public backlash against it.

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