In November, more than 200 artists—among them Tom Morello and Kathleen Hanna—signed an open letter against the use of Amazon-powered palm-scanning technology at Colorado’s famed Red Rocks Amphitheatre. In the wake of the campaigners’ privacy concerns, the venue has now discontinued the use of the service. A representative told Fight for the Future, the organization behind the campaign, that they weren’t sure “what the future of this technology is, but at this point it doesn’t involve our venues.”
Fight for the Future shared a response to the development via representative Leila Nashashibi:
Red Rocks’ decision to abandon Amazon palm scanning puts the venue on the right side of history, as a defender of human rights and the privacy of music fans. Other venues should similarly listen to the hundreds of artists, organizations, and fans who don’t see this technology as “convenient” but recognize it as a tool of corporate surveillance and super-charged state violence. As we speak, AXS is trying to bring palm scanning to a number of new venues—including Mission Ballroom in Denver—making our fight to keep events free of biometric data collection as urgent as ever. This victory at Red Rocks demonstrates what’s possible when we take action together, and we invite artists, organizations, and fans everywhere to join the ongoing effort to ban these tools by adding their names to the open letter at AmazonDoesntRock.com.
In addition to the artist signatories, more than 30 other organizations joined the campaign against the palm scanners, among them the Colorado Immigrant Rights Coalition. AXS had announced in September that Red Rocks would be the first site for palm-scan entry, and promoted it with claims that the palm scans are more hygienic and will reduce entry times for guests.