MSG CEO Back Use Of Facial Recognition Technology
Madison Square Garden (MSG) has been thrust into the spotlight for the use of facial recognition technology, which, according to CEO, James Dolan, is being used to bar the lawyers who are currently suing the group from attending MSG events.
In an interview with Fox 5, Dolan stated that Madison Square Garden is a private company and therefore is entitled to determine who is allowed to enter its venues for events.
Confirming their use of facial recognition, Dolan, said: “At Madison Square Garden, if you’re suing us, we’re just asking of you – please don’t come until you’re done with your argument with us. And yes, we’re using facial recognition to enforce that.”
This statement comes after New York Attorney General, Letitia James, sent a letter to MSG Entertainment requesting information regarding its use of facial recognition technology to prohibit legitimate ticketholders from entering venues.
The letter stated that the attorney general’s office has reviewed reports MSG Entertainment has used facial recognition to identify and deny entry to multiple lawyers affiliated with law firms involved in ongoing litigation with the company.
Thousands of attorneys from around 90 law firms have reportedly been impacted by the policy, and the ban includes those holding season tickets.
This policy has raised concerns that banning individuals from accessing venues over ongoing litigation may violate local, state, and federal human rights laws, including laws prohibiting retaliation.
The letter also questions whether the facial recognition software used by MSG Entertainment is reliable and what safeguards are in place to avoid bias and discrimination.
In response to the letter, MSG Entertainment issued a statement: “To be clear, our policy does not unlawfully prohibit anyone from entering our venues and it is not our intent to dissuade attorneys from representing plaintiffs in litigation against us. We are merely excluding a small percentage of lawyers only during active litigation.”
However, James is not satisfied with the response, releasing a statement that said: “MSG Entertainment cannot fight their legal battles in their own arenas. Madison Square Garden and Radio City Music Hall are world-renowned venues and should treat all patrons who purchased tickets with fairness and respect.
“Anyone with a ticket to an event should not be concerned that they may be wrongfully denied entry based on their appearance, and we’re urging MSG Entertainment to reverse this policy,” she said.
As the situation unfolds, it remains to be seen what the outcome will be for MSG Entertainment and the use of facial recognition technology at the venue.