With the World Cup fever, soccer has become the fashionable “figurine” until the end of the World Cup on Qatari soil, in a World Cup marked as an icon of technology, particularly on the fields and in television broadcasts. However, all of this technification is also being used for the surveillance of sympathizers. Throughout Latin America, thousands of fans gather to watch their favorite teams. There appears this new actor, we are talking about facial recognition cameras.
This sport, soccer, is lived both on and off the field, it is a global phenomenon. With these new recognition systems, which were implemented for security, the faces of all fans are captured, processed and stored. There, the lack of consent of those attending this show is a legal issue that is still in its infancy. After years of use in European championships, they have been present in several Latin American stadiums for some time now.
Different companies have been carrying out this surveillance and facial recognition work, both in the vicinity of and inside the stadiums. Daniel Ibañez, a supporter of the Mexican club Toluca, emphasized that:
“As a fan I didn’t know, and I bet you that’s how many of us don’t know about these details.”
Under the attachment to security, the situation of control over the citizenry is also being introduced.
Soccer and surveillance
When we talk about facial recognition we are entering the category of biometric data. There, Privacy International noted that:
“They can accurately recognize an individual based on physical or behavioral characteristics.”
Against this backdrop, when capturing any type of information, especially sensitive information, there must be strict monitoring standards.
Generally, cameras have a resolution of 16 megapixels. This makes it possible to capture the faces with certain details of the fans entering the stands. With these systems, it has been pointed out that safety is improved. Especially after moments of great violence in stadiums throughout the Americas. But, we cannot ignore that this situation also enters into controversy with the intrusion in our privacy or use of our data without consent.
Data obtained by technology
The evolution of biometric technologies is growing by the minute. Perhaps still far from what is dreamed of in science fiction movies, but, nevertheless, with ever-increasing progress. Collecting or storing biometric data, through the use of closed-circuit cameras, may be considered criminal.
There, legally, comes the crossover on whether the supporter is informed of this fact of control or not, in order to have to give a consent. The companies point out that there is no discrimination or differentiation between “good and bad”, but that the facial capture is done on 100% of those attending the stadiums.
Clubs in leagues throughout the Americas have had to invest millions of dollars in security. However, very little is known about what happens to the information collected by surveillance camera equipment. The control of access to the studios and, already inside the studios, there is facial recognition of thousands of fans without the proper consent of the fans attending a sporting event.