Ticketing System Implementation Leads to a Riot

Photo credit: Hurriyet Daily News

Photo credit: Hurriyet Daily News

I often say that one of the wonderful things about working in live entertainment is that it’s not a matter of life and death. And while people who work in making sure venues are safe have a reasonable beef with that statement, even they would probably get what I meant.

Ticketing is typically an even safer occupation. Nobody expects danger from the roll-out of a new system. Annoyed season ticket holders having to adjust to a new website perhaps, but not much more than that.

In Turkey on Sunday, the rollout of a new system led to riots in the street that ended up as pretty serious clashes with the police.

Why? Because the new system, which has become a requirement of the Turkish Football Federation, allows the ticketing system to know just about everything they might want to know about the ticket buyers, including bank account data, and to share that information with the police. The goal is to stop violence and hooliganism at games, but of course, it’s open to a lot of abuse.

In the context of NSA and other agencies of our own government leaning on tech companies to hand over information for security purposes, it’s not an absurd notion that this could become an issue that we in the ticket-selling business are confronted with at some point: turning over ticket sales data to somebody for “security” purposes.

I hope not, but it’s hard to rule out the possibility.


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