NY AG wants answers on Madison Square Garden’s use of facial recognition against legal opponents

New York Lawyer Typical Letitia James has sent a letter to MSG Amusement, the owner and operator of Madison Square Garden and Radio Metropolis Songs Hall, asking for information about its use of facial recognition to deny entry to attorneys at firms symbolizing its legal opponents. James’s letter warns that the Orwellian coverage may violate local, state and federal human rights regulations, together with people prohibiting retaliation.

MSG Entertainment’s facial recognition has been identifying and denying entry to lawyers from companies symbolizing customers suing the business — whether or not people attorneys are directly concerned in the scenarios. The enterprise, led by CEO James Dolan (who also owns the New York Knicks and Rangers), has defended the coverage, framing it as an attempt to reduce proof collection “outside suitable litigation discovery channels.” Nevertheless, attorneys have termed that rationale “ludicrous,” criticizing the ban as a “transparent effort” to punish attorneys for suing them.

The enterprise has taken off at the very least four legal professionals from functions at its venues considering that Oct — together with at Knicks and Rangers video games, concert events and Xmas displays. When passing as a result of a metal detector, the arena’s facial recognition matched the lawyers with photographs from their firms’ websites. James’s place of work states the plan impacts all legal professionals doing the job at more than 90 companies.

In the letter, James warns MSG Amusement that blocking men and women from venues might violate New York’s civil and human rights laws although leading to other attorneys to imagine 2 times about using on reputable circumstances against the corporation. “MSG Entertainment simply cannot struggle their lawful battles in their individual arenas,” said AG James. “Madison Square Yard and Radio Town Audio Corridor are earth-renowned venues and must handle all patrons who bought tickets with fairness and regard. Any person with a ticket to an function should not be anxious that they could be wrongfully denied entry primarily based on their overall look, and we’re urging MSG Amusement to reverse this coverage.”

Feb 12, 2020; New York, New York, USA; New York Knicks executive chairman James Dolan watches the game during the first quarter against the Washington Wizards at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

MSG Amusement CEO James Dolan

The Attorney Normal isn’t by yourself in getting on Dolan and MSG Entertainment. New York state lawmakers Brad Hoylman-Sigal, Liz Krueger and Tony Simone released a monthly bill on Monday to outlaw the policy. It would amend a previous state civil legal rights legislation prohibiting venues from denying entry to anybody with a legitimate ticket, including “sporting events” to the listing of qualifying situations.

Madison Sq. Backyard has applied facial recognition for stability due to the fact at minimum 2018. James’s letter calls on MSG Amusement to justify its use of the tech and report its techniques to comply with New York civil and human rights rules to be certain the tech will not lead to additional discrimination. “Discrimination and retaliation from these who have petitioned the governing administration for redress,” reads the letter, “have no area in New York.”