Facial recognition technology in use at major Australian stadiums

In a new investigation, we’ve been looking at which major public venues are using facial recognition technology.

As a consumer, at the moment the only choice is to avoid events at these venues, but we’re working to change that. Read the full story here:


Now we know why all those cricket fans wear Richie Benaud masks or carved melons on their faces.

“You must love Big Brother. It is not enough to obey him: you must love him.”
George Orwell

Are we feeling the love?


Thank you for your timely article update in FRT.
What country/ries of origin is the FRT for the venues mentioned in your article of today’s date please?

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Hi @LBJ, welcome to the community.

I have moved your post to the thread about FRT in stadiums/venues.

In relation to your question, are you asking what country manufactured the FRT system installed at each venue?

I will let Choice respond, but believe that Choice won’t know such information for every venue surveyed as the article is about presence of FRT rather than intricacies of the systems deployed.


Great to hear Choice is taking up the cause.
My simplistic view is my image is my IP and no one other has the legal right to use it for any commercial purpose without an explicit agreement. Hence the principle of using it as a key to collect data for commercial gain is so wrong IMO, even if there is an implied agreement buried deep in the T&C’s.

The second point raised by Choice that consumers may have no option other than to not attend a venue is equally disturbing. It’s effectively a ban on attendance if one does not agree. One conclusion is that all major and national sporting events, which might include the Olympics are really private events. In that instance why should the public purse be committed to supporting the events, the participants or even the construction of venues and access to the facilities?

IMO - it’s more difficult to justify giving any of the sporting organisations and clubs involved tax free status, if that is how it evolves.


Where are the databases geographically located, which hold FRT images from say Suncorp Stadium and the MCG please ?
Do the Choice researchers know which company/ies currently maintain and have access to stored images at those two venues?


Hi @LBJ,
Thanks for the questions. At this point, we don’t know where the data is being stored or for how long at key venues. Likewise, the venues did not respond to requests for clarification on whether the data is onsold or perhaps used (or planned to be used) by the owners of the stadiums.

It’s a bit disappointing for all of us that we don’t have this information at the present time, but finding these answers is part of the ongoing work into this technology.


I would love for that to be true - or something even stronger: my image is my IP and no one has the legal right to use it for any purpose without an explicit agreement.

I do wonder though what an agreement looks like - since buried deep in the Ts&Cs probably is explicit agreement. I understand that “no one” actually reads them anyway.

I think the problem is that you are being forced into a contract with unconscionable conditions, in a situation of highly unequal bargaining power.

As @syncretic suggests … Vive Richie Benaud! … or other icon as applicable to other events.

There are countries where it is illegal to appear in public masked. I wait to see how long until hoodies and sunglasses are banned there. I am not attracted to the idea of the watermelon on my melon and I lack the correct wig to be a Ritchie. Perhaps I will grow my hair and moustache and be an Albert.

I wait to see how long before such restrictions exist in Australia.

Surely that should be stadia. /pedant

Only if during maths class you would sit on your ba doing your sa.

Maybe, if you are an ancient Roman. Not today in modern English. Even the Pedant Society has given up on ancient Latin plural forms.

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I know - that’s why I left them.


We pedants now hang out at the Apostrophe Protection Society. New members welcome.

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:shushing_face: Membership is optional?

Keeping to topic, for those with a public face, have they accepted the risks in return for…. .

A couple of issues here:
What is the legislation which allows venues and shops to collect facial recognition?
Secondly, given the privacy of databases and the vulnerabilities of hacking, the collection of facial recognition should be confined to the Commonwealth government only for use in security and passports and visas.
That’s the bottom line.

Welcome to the community @bkc

It would be simpler to ask is there any legislation that prohibits the use of facial recognition? Stores have been able to put in place cameras and record customers. There was once in place prominent signage. These days one needs to look for it, and read the fine print.


None. But there doesn’t need to be, there is no legal principle that action is only permitted if the law says so.

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Only if you tell the government e.g. your local member.

What about (state government issued) drivers licences?

I mean if you really think that a drivers licence should not be photo id, I am open to persuasion but I suspect that state governments won’t be.

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