NY AG Letitia James Presses MSG Over Use of Facial Recognition Technology – NBC New York

  • New York Attorney General Letitia James has pressured Madison Square Garden Entertainment to report its use of facial recognition technology.
  • MSG Entertainment has reportedly identified and denied entry to multiple attorneys associated with companies involved in ongoing litigation related to the company.
  • James wrote that the facial recognition software used by MSG Entertainment could lead to discrimination and bias, especially against people of color and women.

New York Attorney General Letitia James wants to hear reports from Madison Square Garden Entertainment about the company’s use of facial recognition technology at its venues.

MSG Entertainment has reportedly used the technology to identify and deny access to multiple attorneys affiliated with the law firm involved in ongoing litigation related to the company, including those holding season tickets. About 90 law firms are affected by the policy, according to a letter she sent to firms on Tuesday.

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Blocking lawyers from MSG Entertainment’s premises because of ongoing litigation could violate local, state and federal human rights laws, James wrote.

MSG Entertainment owns and operates venues in New York, including Radio City Music Hall, Madison Square Garden and the Hulu Theatre.

“MSG Entertainment cannot litigate in its own field,” James said in an open letter Wednesday.

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“Madison Square Garden and Radio City Music Hall are world-renowned venues that should treat all ticketed customers with fairness and respect,” she said. “Anyone with tickets to the event need not worry that they may be wrongfully denied admission due to their appearance, and we urge MSG Entertainment to rescind this policy.”

MSG Entertainment did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the letter.

James also wrote in the letter that the facial recognition software used by MSG Entertainment may not be completely reliable and may lead to discrimination and bias, especially against people of color and women.

Late last year, Kelly Conlon and her daughter were denied entry to Radio City Music Hall’s Christmas Spectacle after being identified by facial recognition software. Conlon is a partner at the law firm of Davis, Saperstein and Solomon, which for several years has been involved in personal injury litigation against a restaurant owned by MSG Entertainment.

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A spokesperson for MSG Entertainment said at the time: “MSG has an immediate policy of prohibiting attorneys with active litigation against the company from attending events at our venue until the litigation is resolved.” Disappointed, but we cannot ignore the fact that litigation creates an inherently adverse environment.”

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