Kathleen Hanna and Tom Morello sign open letter protesting Amazon palm scanners

The "biometric data collection" systems, recently rolled out at a number of US venues, are called "tools of state violence"

Kathleen Hanna and Tom Morello are among a number of musicians protesting new Amazon palm scanners at music venues.

The technology, recently implemented “as a form of “convenient” ticketless entry” at a number of US venues including the famous Red Rocks Amphitheater in Colorado, is “an example of biometric data collection, and could turn Red Rocks into the site of ICE raids, police violence, and false arrests,” the letter states.

On a new website called Amazon Doesn’t Rock, the likes of DIIV, Deerhoof, Jeff Rosenstock and more also sign their names to a letter protesting technology that they say “makes music fans less safe”.


“As human rights groups, artists, and music fans, we are calling on Red Rocks Amphitheater, AXS, and AEG Worldwide to immediately cancel all contracts with Amazon for the invasive Amazon One palm scanning technology, and ban all biometric surveillance at events and venues once and for all,” the letter says.

tom morello
Credit: press

“Introducing palm scanning devices is a slap in the face to fans and artists that have fought so hard to promote safety for everyone at live events. It’s simply a matter of time before we hear of cases of palm scans misidentifying people in the ways that facial recognition has – often with violent and life altering consequences – but most concerning of all is the fact that this new technology will make the data of thousands of people vulnerable to ongoing government tracking and abuse AND malicious hackers.”

“Palm scans and other forms of biometric data collection, like facial recognition, are tools of state violence,” Siena Mann of the Colorado Immigrant Rights Coalition added in a press release. “Once the databases are created, police and DHS will find ways to access them.”

Read the open letter in full here.


Elsewhere, Tom Morello this week (November 17) announced details of a new album. ‘The Atlas Underground Flood’ will come out next month and features collaborations with IDLESManchester Orchestra and more.

The “sister” record to last month’s ‘The Atlas Underground Fire’ (itself a sequel to 2018’s ‘The Atlas Underground’) will be released on December 3 via Mom + Pop.

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