Assistant Editor, Informa

January 9, 2023


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Facial recognition

New York music venue prevents lawyer from entering venue via facial recognition identification

After being identified via facial recognition technology, a lawyer was stopped from entering a venue at New York’s Radio City Music Hall to see a show in December.

Kelly Conlon, a Lawyer at US personal injury firm Davis, Saperstein and Salomon said: “It was pretty simultaneous, I think, to me, going through the metal detector, that I heard over an intercom or loudspeaker, I heard them say, ‘Woman with long dark hair and a grey scarf.’”

Conlon’s firm, Davis, Saperstein and Salomon, is currently involved in a personal injury claim against the operator of the venue, MSG Entertainment. The operator’s policy precludes attorneys from entering the venue if their firm is currently pursuing litigation against the venue.

According to the Guardian, Conlon was then asked to produce ID to be checked against their system: “They knew my name before I told them. They knew the firm I was associated with before I told them. And they told me I was not allowed to be there.”

Conlon had been with her daughter as part of a girl’s scout field trip to see a show over the Christmas period last month, as reported by NBC New York.

In a statement, MSG Entertainment said it had “a straightforward policy that precludes attorneys pursuing active litigation against the company from attending events at our venues until that litigation has been resolved.

“While we understand this policy is disappointing to some… all impacted attorneys were notified of the policy, including Davis, Saperstein and Salomon, which was notified twice.”

MSG Entertainment also said it was “in compliance with all applicable laws”.

Sam Davis, a partner at Davis, Saperstein and Salomon, said: “This whole scheme is a pretext for doing collective punishment on adversaries who would dare sue MSG in their multibillion-dollar network.

“…The liquor license that MSG got requires them to admit members of the public, unless there are people who would be disruptive who constitute a security threat … Separating a mother from her daughter and Girl Scouts she was watching over – and to do it under the pretext of protecting any disclosure of litigation information – is absolutely absurd.

“The fact they’re using facial recognition to do this is frightening. It’s un-American to do this.”

Facial recognition technology continues to stir debate when being used as an extra, preventative security measure by businesses, with questions over whether it needs to be further regulated. Last year, UK retailer Co-Op had a formal complaint mounted to the UK’s Information Commissioner’s Office over its use of facial recognition technology cameras in 35 of its stores.


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