Facing the Music—Big Brother Is Watching Your Face. At a Music Festival? In Leicestershire??

Download Festival is a popular British summer rock festival, held annually in Leicestershire, England. This year, the line-up included a long list of super famous acts, including KISS, Judas Priest, Marilyn Manson and Billy Idol. 

While the crowd was rocking and rolling all night and partying every day, the Leicestershire Police was testing out a facial recognition software called NeoFace Watch, made by NEC Corp. And it worked.  

According to a July 27 statement by the Leicestershire police, intelligence officers created a database of offenders from across Europe, who were known to target music festivals to commit crime. Using six cameras, NeoFace Watch scanned the faces in the crowd, and it made 77 correct matches with people deliberately placed in the database.

Unmatched facial images were purportedly deleted from the system and the database of offenders and potential matches was deleted at the end of Download.

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