Download music festival comes under fire for scanning people’s faces, tracking their spending habits

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The Leicestershire police department has come under fire for engaging in some Hot Fuzz-style surveillance of over 90,000 unknowing people attending the Download music festival.

As people moved throughout the venue, their faces were scanned by a series of conspicuously hidden cameras that captured their likenesses and cross referenced them with a database of known criminals.

In addition to scanning the crowd for potential criminals, Download’s organizers also made use of wireless RFID “dog tags” that those at the event (including staff) were required to wear. The RFID chip in each dog tag was linked to its wearer’s payment information in advance and could be used to buy things during Download.

“Every single person on site, including staff, children, RIP and VIP customers will need a dog tag to get around the festival,” Download’s privacy policy page reads. “The only way to get around the festival and pay…

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