Mike Downing, chief security officer of Oak View Group, an advisory board for concert venues including Madison Square Garden in NY and the Forum in Los Angeles, told Rolling Stone magazine a special kiosk was set up at Swift's Rose Bowl show in May.
"Everybody who went by would stop and stare at it, and the software would start working", he said.
Little did concertgoers know was that a camera was hiding behind the kiosk's screen, where a facial recognition camera was snapping photos and transferring them to a Nashville-based "command post". The tour also broke Swift's own record for the highest-grossing domestic tour by a woman, with Reputation concert sales surpassing her 1989 world tour's $181.5 million from 2015. In May, the same month it was used at the Swift concert, facial recognition technology helped Chinese authorities catch three fugitives who attended a concert by pop star Jacky Cheung, The Wall Street Journal reported.
The singer, who released her sixth studio album in November of 2017, announced on Instagram early Thursday morning that fans will be able to relive the experience of the record-setting tour in a special that will air on the streaming service on New Year's Eve.
Neither Downing nor Swift's representatives disclosed who manufactured the kiosks nor were available for comment.
Just a few days before, another man was arrested outside her home in Beverly Hills wearing a mask and rubber gloves.
Live Nation has a big stake in a company called Blink Identity, which wants to use facial recognition AI as a way of verifying the identity of people with tickets to gigs.
Ticketmaster hopes to use the technology to speed up lines at concerts.