Between the oddly-accurate TikToks, Google ads and Amazon recommendations, it’s only natural to be skeptical of seemingly invasive technology. In a recent open letter, over 200 artists, including Tom Morello and Kathleen Hanna, are urging music venues — specifically Colorado’s Red Rocks Amphitheater — to avoid the use of Amazon palm scanners and other pieces of biometric technology.
According to Pitchfork, the letter argues that collecting this data could be targeted by law enforcement and make marginalized groups more vulnerable. “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.”
One of the main grievances protesters have with the proposed technology is that they would be powered by Amazon, who has already shared surveillance information with law enforcement in the past. With their Ring doorbell camera, particularly, police have been able to obtain camera footage without a warrant.
Morello is set to release a new album on Dec. 3, The Atlas Underground Flood. In anticipation of the album, the former Rage Against The Machine member has already shared “Human,” “Hard Times” and “Raising Hell,” all of which are politically charged. By signing this letter, Morello is taking political action to enhance his musical political statements.
Photo Credit: Marv Watson