We gotta take the power back!

Rage, Rage

Rage Against the Machine is living up to its name by signing a pledge to boycott venues that use facial recognition technology.

Band cofounders Tom Morello and Zack De La Rocha are, as Rolling Stone reports, among the many signatories of a pledge from the nonprofit Fight for the Future, which seeks, among other things, to get Congress to pass a bill banning facial recognition tech.

"In recent years, a coalition of musicians, fans, and human rights groups successfully got more than 40 of the world’s largest music festivals, including Bonnaroo and Coachella, to say they won’t use facial recognition at events," the pledge reads. "But now this tech is starting to spread — not only as a surveillance tool, but also as a form of 'paperless' ticketing and payment."

Indeed, Rolling Stone revealed last year that New York City's iconic Madison Square Garden arena was caught using the technology to surveil "adversaries" of the venue and remove them — yet another dystopian example of the tech, which has also been used to track the movements of public housing residents and by law enforcement.

"This invasive biometric surveillance isn’t safe," the Fight for the Future pledge continues, "especially for Black and brown people who have been falsely arrested or ejected from public places due to the tech’s baked-in discrimination."

Pledge Allegiance

Along with Rage Against the Machine, bands like Anti-Flag, Wheatus, Speedy Ortiz, and more than 100 others have signed the pledge, as well as a wide variety of music venues.

Thus far, the non-profit's track record with anti-biometric campaigning has been pretty successful. Last year, it successfully got Colorado's Red Rocks Amphitheater to abandon plans to use Amazon's palm scanning software after Morello and Bikini Kill's Kathleen Hanna signed another pledge in protest of it.

That artists, venues, and even some elected officials are pushing back against this scary tech is definitely a good thing — but given that big names like Taylor Swift are using it regardless, and that Congress still hasn't passed legislation against the practice, it's only a small step in the right direction.

More on evil tech usage: Facial Recognition Used to Evict Single Mother for Taking Night Classes

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