No Amazon Palm Scanning at Red Rocks

Iconic event venue Red Rocks Amphitheater has introduced Amazon palm scanning technology as an optional form of “convenient” ticketless entry. But the truth is that palm scanning, like facial recognition, is an example of biometric data collection, and could turn Red Rocks into the site of ICE raids, police violence, and false arrests. We’re calling on Red Rocks, AXS and AEG to reject this dangerous and invasive technology.

Endorsers

  • 18 Million Rising logo
  • Access Now logo
  • American Friends Service Committee logo
  • Athena Coalition logo
  • Colorado Immigrant Rights Coalition logo
  • Colorado Jobs with Justice logo
  • Consumer Federation of America logo
  • Defending Rights & Dissent logo
  • Demand Progress Education Fund logo
  • Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) logo
  • Ethical Bucket List logo
  • Get Better Records logo
  • Independent Clauses Music Blog logo
  • Jewish Voice for Peace logo
  • Jobs with Justice logo
  • Just Futures Law logo
  • Kairos  logo
  • MPower Change logo
  • MediaJustice logo
  • Minneapolis Students for Sensible Drug Policy logo
  • Muslim Justice League logo
  • NorCal Resist logo
  • OpenMedia logo
  • PDX Privacy logo
  • Popular Resistance logo
  • Presente.org logo
  • Rainbow Nation Brussels  logo
  • Ranking Digital Rights logo
  • Restore the 4th logo
  • Roots Action logo
  • STOP logo
  • Secure Justice logo
  • The Tor Project logo
  • Topshelf Records logo
  • Union of Musicians and Allied Workers logo
  • United We Dream Network logo

Artists

  • Tom Morello (Rage Against the Machine)
  • Kathleen Hanna (Bikini Kill, Le Tigre)
  • Deerhoof
  • Sean Ono Lennon
  • Mannequin Pussy
  • Sadie Dupuis (Speedy Ortiz / Sad13)
  • Kimya Dawson (The Moldy Peaches)
  • Jeff Rosenstock
  • Amanda Palmer
  • Bedouine
  • DIIV
  • Martha (the band)
  • Anjimile
  • illuminati hotties
  • Downtown Boys
  • Gramatik
  • ZOLA JESUS
  • Evan Greer
  • Control Top
  • Painted Zeros
  • Oceanator
  • Anti-Flag
  • AJJ
  • mirah
  • Remember Sports
  • Adult Mom Band
  • La Neve
  • Potty Mouth
  • The Blow
  • XTINA
  • hurry
  • dr. feelokay
  • Anna Mari
  • Radio Decay
  • meria
  • Thea Taylor
  • Scott Grinthal
  • Pat Cassidy
  • Ron Like Hell
  • Dots Will Echo
  • Tika Bordelon
  • homer errektos
  • Steve Salvi
  • chris klein overzero
  • The Homobiles
  • Alice Petersen
  • John Paul Markham
  • Randy Beach
  • Rashid Patch
  • Pier Ayanna Thompson
  • Ian Ali
  • Daniel Stimac
  • Rob Gordon
  • Anne L. Kazlauskas
  • Robin
  • Kathleen Childs
  • DJ Max
  • Happy Chichester
  • Jyh Lay
  • Vanova Studio
  • Jason
  • Adam Kaplan
  • Heidi Spoor
  • Margaret Keene
  • Meja
  • Spike Maiden Müller
  • Cpl. Corgi
  • John Colgan-Davis
  • John Ross
  • Eric Banford
  • ChapOW
  • Tracy S. Feldman
  • Louise McClurre
  • SANTO + the PPL
  • Leah Gage
  • Christians & Lions
  • Maggie Vail
  • meow meow fuzzyface
  • Lilli Ross
  • Shoaler
  • Jonathan Hale
  • Nedresh
  • Chef Sol
  • Norjack
  • HardyC
  • Erica Johns
  • Eleanor Quint
  • Houtakker
  • The Last Internationale
  • Velleitie
  • Subdued Animosity
  • Jonathan Lockie
  • Dave Hornstein of the Cardboard Tubes
  • Danny James
  • Dee Dee Blue
  • Sly Green Sky
  • Dennis Bone
  • Brian Boortz
  • Eric Madis
  • Tisonix Inc.
  • Charles Dineen
  • Tom Voiles
  • Kate Skwire
  • Bridget Cappel
  • lucie mayer
  • Paul Rowan
  • rho. levin
  • Bruce Ross
  • Stephanie Wilder
  • Chris Kermiet
  • Bob Weston
  • Carlos "Cake" Nunez
  • Thomas G.
  • AMAZING AMY: ECCENTRIC ENTERTAINER
  • Russ Grindle
  • Frank Panduh
  • Guts Baroque
  • Daniela Bosenius
  • Greg Howe
  • Emma Nova Young (Molly in Berlin)
  • Jon Ross
  • Revibe
  • Ardyth Gilbertson
  • James Kellerman
  • Nancy Burke
  • Sarah Elizabeth
  • Mark Walder
  • Darkfiasco
  • Corey Arbelaez
  • Bruce Hale
  • Piranga
  • Stinstrom Amy
  • Ernie Medeiros
  • Canopy Arts
  • Axmed Amiin Max
  • Gregory Tellier
  • nitu
  • Fureigh
  • Stella Foreman
  • Lawrence Clifford
  • Bear Witness
  • Lisa Trope
  • Tate Storey
  • Aminah Hughes
  • Anika Pyle
  • Andy Molholt
  • Kelly VanPelt
  • Joanie Calem
  • Christina ONeil
  • Solomon Laser Goldfarb
  • Alexander Goetz
  • Sam Slick
  • Patrick Soper
  • Lindy Von Dohlen
  • Jarnot
  • Sloane Morton
  • Brandon Onward
  • Hector Laidlaw
  • Liliane Chlala
  • Adam Witt
  • Nedret Sahin
  • Kristin Reiman
  • Richard
  • Dani Mills
  • Leslie Jo Deckard
  • Bree Davies
  • Frank Barry
  • Austin Pereira
  • Lauren Stuparitz
  • Gabriela Santiago
  • gregory a. clewell
  • Vincent De Stefano
  • Sam Stratton
  • Erik Anker
  • Lily Mastrodimos
  • Keenholts
  • JT Hale
  • Jenise Reedus
  • michael cantor
  • Lizz Kimball
  • Lily Maisky
  • Andrea Li
  • William Kadish
  • zachary smith
  • Carla Cherry
  • GRADY J CARDEIRO
  • Andrew Dost, fun.
  • Matthew Scheuermann
  • Benjamin Potrykus
  • Barbara Burton
  • James McVey
  • Phil Immerfall
  • Tara
  • Jeff McBride
  • Mike Quigley
  • Henry Raess
  • Greg C
  • Ellen S
  • Tyler Van Kirk
  • Nate Siggard
  • Aaron Brinkerhoff
  • Katherine Fryer
  • Jim Bearden
  • Tommie Sunshine
  • No Swoon
  • Taína Asili
  • The Blow
  • Dunia & Aram
  • britton powell
  • Jordan Friedman
  • Empath
  • The Wild Kindness
  • Brent Tibbetts
  • Rick Rein
  • Castle Laws
  • Dan LaConti
  • Flochango and the Moneyshots
  • Lilith Ray
  • Sannie Fox
  • Amber Coffman
  • Space Ranch Studios
  • LANGUAGE LTD.
  • djbelieve
  • JESSE SCOTT
  • Kurt G. Johnson
  • Sama’an
  • 3rd Would-Be Rocker From San Dimas
  • Monsein
  • Fat Tony
  • Teddy Lamson
  • Satchel Bruna
  • Rabeca
  • Shane McCarthy
  • Tchotchke
  • innerspace
  • UPLYNC
  • Shallow Moons
  • Fluctuation
  • Park Hopper
  • Squitch
  • Anthony Casamassima
  • Never Mind
  • Pablo De La Cueva
  • Autumn Theriault
  • Damon Smith
  • Rylan Fischer
  • Kayce Laine
  • Carroll
  • Wardrobe Malfunction
  • Alicia Walter
  • J. Duelks
  • Scream Time
  • Lunch With Beardo
  • Candace Hansen
  • Dreyted
  • Hater
  • Arden
  • Apple Juice Jones
  • Ben Dabney
  • The Hipwynds
  • Dead Like Wolves
  • Lisa Jean Moran
  • Berkley
  • Abram Olivas
  • Jesse Braun
  • Samir
  • Raviine
  • Lou Roy
  • Marc Alexander Dalio
  • Global Lobsters
  • Lauren Krum
  • Phil Grace
  • Tracey McEvoy
  • Matt Puhr
  • Clark Schmidtke
  • Negative Time
  • Benjamin Belinska
  • Bob Weston
  • Paul Riedl
  • clyde petersen
  • Jo Alvarez
  • Sælin
  • Broc Smith
  • Opris
  • Blue Oddity
  • Dallas James
  • Dorian Duffy
  • SKINNY J
  • Danny Torgersen
  • GP
  • Melyssa Rice
  • The Wood Prophets

Background

Bad news: Amazon has successfully sold AXS (Red Rocks’ ticketing company) and AEG (AXS’ parent company) on its Amazon One palm scanning technology – devices that allow people entering the venue to scan their palms instead of using a paper or digital ticket. 

Amazon, Red Rocks, AXS, and AEG say this technology is all about convenience. But here’s the deal. For both corporations and governments, biometric surveillance – i.e. scanning and storing data on our body parts – is hugely appealing because of the relative immutability of the data collected. Unlike addresses or credit card numbers, most biometrics can’t be changed. Biometrics make identifying us and tracking our activities and interactions easier and more effective. And guess what? Better tracking = more control (for governments) and more profit (for corporations). 

The palm scanning devices are the newest manifestation of Amazon’s surveillance technology obsession. The corporation has already installed them at its stores, allowing customers to pay “card-free”, and according to AXS, Red Rocks is the first of many event venues that will be debuting the tech in the coming months. Through these devices, Amazon will be able to collect more biometric data than ever before.

Here’s a more detailed breakdown of why this is so concerning:

Abusive state agencies like DHS and police departments are in the business of routinely collecting biometric data, allowing them to systematically target and surveil Black and brown people and social activists. Amazon has a long history of willingly collaborating with these agencies, including recently when Amazon worked with cops to track participants in BLM protests.
Unlike face and fingerprint scans on phones, the data collected through the Amazon One palm scanners will be stored in the cloud (as opposed to on someone’s individual device), posing unique and well documented security vulnerabilities. Regardless of what Amazon says about the safety of the data and its privacy policies, at the end of the day, government agencies – and hackers – consistently access data collected by corporations if they want to badly enough.

What does this mean?

It's not a pretty picture. The introduction of Amazon palm scanners could lead to law enforcement crosschecking the data collected at your next Red Rocks concert with the data in immigration or police databases – and then to police harassment, violent arrests, and ICE raids at shows. It could lead to your personal, unchangeable bodily data falling into the hands of hackers who'll have access to it for the rest of your life.

Under the guise of “convenience”, corporations are putting the safety of thousands of people at risk – especially people already targeted by state violence – and threatening everything we love about live events. We need to look beyond the shiny veneer of this tech and ask: How might it impact the most marginalized among us? How does it feed the terrifying tidal wave of corporations boosting their profits through the collection of increasingly intimate data from our bodies and lives?

Live shows are supposed to be about creative expression, community, and joy. They should be places where people can feel safe and free. Join us in calling on Red Rocks Amphitheater, AXS and AEG to reject Amazon palm scanning and all forms of biometric data collection immediately. Let's fight for live event experiences – and a surveillance-free world – built around true safety for everyone.

The letter

As human rights groups, artists, and music fans, we are calling on Red Rocks Amphitheater, AXS, and AEG Worldwide to immediately cancel all contracts and plans to use dangerous Amazon One palm scanning technology for event entry, and ban all biometric surveillance at events and venues once and for all.

For many of us, concerts and live events are some of the most memorable and enjoyable experiences of our lives. The spread of biometric surveillance tools like palm scans and facial recognition now threatens to destroy that, transforming these spaces into hotspots for ICE raids, false arrests, police harassment, and stolen identities.

In 2019, over 40 of the largest US music festivals, including Burning Man, Coachella, South by Southwest and Lollapalooza, responded to activists’ demands to reject invasive facial recognition technology at their festivals. 

Introducing this Amazon palm scanning option at Red Rocks is a slap in the face to fans and artists that have fought so hard to promote safety for everyone at live events. It’s simply a matter of time before we hear of cases of palm scans misidentifying people in the ways that facial recognition has – often with violent and life altering consequences – but most concerning of all is the fact that this new technology will make the data of thousands of people vulnerable to ongoing government tracking and abuse AND malicious hackers. 

AEG is one of the many companies that has taken a strong stand against the use of facial recognition at its festivals. Red Rocks, AXS and AEG must now go one step further and refuse palm scanning devices and all other forms of invasive biometric surveillance. The marginal-at-best convenience of scanning a hand instead of a ticket is no excuse for implementing technology that will exacerbate violent systems and cause harm. Our privacy, safety and lives are at stake.