Tennis fans at the Australian Open could be subject to facial recognition after Melbourne's AAMI Park joins the list of stadiums using the technology.
Soccer club Melbourne Victory on Thursday flagged facial recognition technology would be deployed at AAMI Park for the 2023/24 A-League season to identify people banned from entering the stadium and stop those who otherwise posed a security threat.
The decision was made after a derby match between Melbourne Victory and Melbourne City was suspended in December when more than 150 spectators stormed the pitch.
Melbourne City goalkeeper Tom Glover needed 10 stitches after a fan launched a bucket of sand at him, striking him in the side of the head.
Referee Alex King, a TV cameraman and two security guards were also injured while the violent mob turned on police as they responded to the chaos.
Three dozen people were charged after a public campaign to identify the pitch invaders and Football Australia doled out bans including five-year, 20-year and lifetime prohibitions to some of those involved.
AAMI Park's conditions were updated to inform attendees the stadium and the Melbourne and Olympic Parks precinct was fitted with electronic surveillance including facial recognition technology.
The precinct is home to the Australian Open and includes AAMI Park along with Rod Laver Arena, Margaret Court Arena, John Cain Arena, Centrepiece and Kia Arena.
A Melbourne and Olympic Parks spokeswoman confirmed the move to introduce facial recognition technology at AAMI Park was in response to antisocial behaviour during the 2022/23 A-League season.
The changes to the venue's conditions of entry were made before the ticket on-sale for the general public for the 2023/24 season and Melbourne and Olympic Parks was considering rolling out facial recognition technology across all of its venues, the spokeswoman said.
"(We are) considering the case for implementing the technology across the remaining Melbourne and Olympic Parks venues to ensure the health, safety and security of all guests who attend events at the precinct," the parks spokeswoman said.
Consumer advocacy organisation Choice said AAMI Park's conditions of entry failed to inform attendees how long their biometric data would be stored.
The organisation in July found several other Australian stadiums were using facial recognition including the Sydney Cricket Ground, Allianz Stadium, Melbourne Cricket Ground and Qudos Bank Arena.
The proliferation of facial recognition technology highlighted the need for proper federal government guidelines and clear rules about when and where it could be used, Choice spokesman Jarni Blakkarly told AAP.
Choice wanted fans to be informed facial recognition technology was in use at AAMI Park when they were at the venue.
"We would hope to see this information also being prominently displayed at (AAMI Park) for people who might not be reading press releases," Mr Blakkarly said.
Victoria Police or authorised officers would eject banned people from AAMI Park if they were detected through the technology, Melbourne Victory said.
Melbourne Victory managing director Caroline Carnegie welcomed the use of facial recognition technology.
Australian Associated Press
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