On October 10th, 2017 at a panel discussion about “Cybersecurity of the Olympic Games” at the University Club, California Memorial Stadium – Missy Franklin, (five-time Olympic medalist) said “We constantly get new technology thrown at us. It’s crazy, but that’s where sports are going.”
Extract: “Digital technologies pose an increasingly diverse set of threats to Olympic events, and the newer forms of threat are likely to have more serious consequences. While most hacks today focus on sports stadium IT systems and ticket operations, future risks will include hacks that cut to the integrity of the sporting event results, as well as to core stadiums operations.”
Automated ticket mining bots can get around security measures designed to limit ticket purchases. These bots can hoover up hundreds of tickets within seconds of their release. The tickets then almost immediately appear at vastly inflated prices on resale websites.
In early 2017 Viagogo a secondary ticketing website was accused of “moral repugnance” for reselling tickets to an Ed Sheeran cancer charity gig for up to £5,000. An £85 seat to see Adele at the London O2 in 2016 was reportedly being sold online for £24,840.
The use of bots will soon become a criminal offence as part of a crackdown on resale websites. Touts who use bots to mine for concert tickets before selling them for massive profits – and blocking fans from seeing their favourite artists – will also face unlimited fines.
Ticketing firms must introduce tougher anti-bot measures and stronger enforcement of consumer rights laws. Presently, too much lip service is paid to the problem without any real steps being taken to combat it.