A woman was asked to leave a Rockettes performance late last month after being recognized by a facial recognition system at the entrance of Radio City Music Hall.
According to NBC New York, the woman, Kelly Conlon, was attending the Rockettes show with her daughter as a part of a Girl Scouts field trip when Madison Square Garden (MSG) Entertainment security approached them and asked for identification.
“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 told NBC.
The reason, security said, was because Conlon is an associate at New Jersey-based law firm Davis, Saperstein and Solomon, which has been involved for years in personal injury litigation against a restaurant now under the MSG umbrella.
Conlon insisted that she wasn’t involved in any cases against MSG, but the company has a policy against allowing lawyers involved in lawsuits against MSG from attending events at its venues.
“MSG instituted 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, we cannot ignore the fact that litigation creates an inherently adverse environment. All impacted attorneys were notified of the policy, including Davis, Saperstein and Salomon, which was notified twice,” a spokesperson told NBC News.
Conlon said that she heard someone say “our recognition picked you up” and that she saw a sign saying the venue used facial recognition tech.
The news went viral on Twitter, where critics decried MSG’s use of controversial facial recognition technology.
“All we want for Christmas is for NY to ban facial recognition,” said Surveillance Technology Oversight Project, a surveillance oversight group.
“Extremely dark stuff. A mom was taking her daughter to Madison Square Garden and she wasn’t allowed in because facial recognition identified that she worked for a law firm that’s suing MSG’s parent company. The mom isn’t involved in the case,” one user said.
“This should be alarming to us all,” said another.
“This is ridiculous! I hope the mom and her daughter’s tickets were reimbursed.” another wrote.