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One of the NFL's premiere franchises, the New England Patriots is using "Evolve Edge" millimeter wave/facial recognition scanners to identify fans before they enter Gillette Stadium.
According to Evolv Edge's brochure, their scanners use facial recognition to identify everyone.
"The automated, consistent screening eliminates guard fatigue and subjectivity so there’s fewer complaints and no profiling while providing better threat detection. The system can scan everyone and their bag including those with medical devices and pregnant women. In addition, facial recognition can be integrated to identify people who are prohibited from an environment."
Evolv's scanners are designed to make it easy for private corporations and law enforcement to create blacklists of suspicious people.
"Evolve Edge keeps unwanted visitors out with integrated face recognition. Evolv Edge, captures facial images of visitors, via a built-in camera, and matches them against a locally defined gallery."
Because nothing says freedom quite like being placed on a so-called "locally defined gallery" (secret blacklist.)
Across the country, Evolv Edge's millimeter waves are secretly scanning Americans without their knowledge.
"The Evolv Edge is in wide use for for visitor, employee and VIP screening at top entertainment venues, international airports, stadiums, corporations, hospitals, large scale events and national landmarks worldwide." (For more information about Evolv Edge and stadium security click here.)
Gillette Stadium and the TD Garden have also been using FanCam to identify every fan since 2017.
"The cameras — the number of which depends on the configuration of the stadium — take multiple images at many different points in a game. Those shots are then put together to form one large composite 360-degree view of every fan in the stadium for a given game."
A recent Evolve Technology study, reveals how Gillette security spies on fans.
Gillette Stadium uses Evolve to whitelist and blacklist fans, calling out "valued customers" (VIPS) by name.
"For example, we’ve integrated face recognition into the Edge. With this added functionality, security personnel will be able to greet trusted guests and valued customers by name, and speed them through the screening process—think TSA Precheck."
Gillette Stadium plans to use facial recognition cameras to identify fans,
"By adding face recognition, we can now help address both sides of this equation. Venues will be able to maintain both “verify” lists for employees, repeat customers and important guests, as well as “detect” lists –for example, known gate-crashers or people who have been banned from the stadium."
Just how easy is it for someone to be blacklisted by Gillette Security?
According to Gillette Stadium's "Code of Conduct" page, fans can be blacklisted for exercising their right to free speech among others things.
- Exhibiting behavior that is unruly, disruptive, irresponsible or illegal in nature
- Using foul, abusive or offensive language or making obscene gestures.
- Interfering with any ongoing event, business activity or the enjoyment of others.
- Engaging in public intoxication
- Verbally or physically harassing any of our guests or staff.
- Advertising or selling goods or services.
- Smoking or vaping. Gillette Stadium is a non-smoking facility.
- Violating the terms of any applicable admission ticket license, policy or related laws.
- Failure to follow instructions of security personnel or law enforcement.
If a fan wants to be removed from Gillette Stadium's blacklist, they must pay $250.00 and take a "4 Hour Online Fan Code Of Conduct Class" that teaches people things like "communication skills as prevention (Foul or abusive language or obscene gesture.) [And] skills for becoming less impulsive and improving judgment."
Forcing blacklisted fans to take a "Code of Conduct" class, essentially turns stadiums into the Nanny State.
Evolv Technology's study shows how the Nanny State has become synonymous with stadiums and public venues.
Evolv Technology's CEO, Mike Ellenbogen explains his close relationship with Gillette Stadium's head of security, Mark Briggs, and describes how they worked together to identify fans before they even enter the stadium.
"Our vision—and TeamOps —is to use advanced connected sensors along with face and image recognition to identify potential threats as soon as they arrive on property or come in sight of the venue. Should our cameras spot someone of interest, or who might be carrying a suspicious object, we can give our law enforcement partners a heads up so they can take the appropriate action before the person gets within range to do major damage. Our credo is prevent, don’t just react."
Private corporations notifying police of a suspicious or blacklisted fan before they enter a venue is extremely disturbing. Why? Because the public has no way of knowing why someone has been put on a blacklist since private corporations are exempt from FOIA's.
Unfortunately, Evolv Technology is not alone in scanning people in public places. HEXWAVE, makes its money by scanning people in malls and retail stores from Florida, to Southeast Georgia.
"Malls welcome hundreds - if not thousands - of visitors daily, including children and families. These are public spaces that face a security challenge with high volumes of foot traffic and multiple entry points," said Bill Riker, Liberty's CEO. "By providing a security solution that is modular, scalable, and capable of providing layered protection to identify threats before they evolve into an attack, we believe that we can make these spaces safer for patrons and merchants alike."
In Utah, HEXWAVE plans to scan people in just about every public venue imaginable, scanning them during "non-business hours to get system exposure to the full range of potential operating conditions to include environmental, frequency/volume of use or other operating conditions to which HEXWAVE would be subjected."
Companies like Evolv and HEXWAVE have close ties to the U.S. military and Homeland Security.
Evolv boasts about receiving Homeland Security's "Safety Act Designation" and has numerous DHS, CIA and FBI advisors on their Board. Liberty Defense's CEO used to work for the U.S. Department of Defense and General Dynamics.
With so many signs pointing towards Homeland Security and the Feds, is it any wonder that we are seeing facial recognition scanners popping up in public venues?
Can anything stop the spread of public facial recognition scanners?
Mark Briggs said it best, “I’ve never been told I can’t do something that will enhance security at the stadium.” And that is the moral of this story: there are no laws, stopping private corporations from turning public venues into a mirror-image of the TSA.