Madison Square Garden Uses Face Scanners to Remove Lawyers – Rolling Stone

Barbara Hart is In celebration of her wedding anniversary, as Brandi Carlyle was waiting to take the stage at Madison Square Garden on Oct. 22, a pair of security guards approached her and her husband’s seats, prompting the couple to to follow them. rolling stone She was excited because she thought it was a surprise before the concert started. But her excitement quickly turned to anxiety when she learned that she had spoken to security and used her facial recognition technology to identify her. They then took her outside her venue.

Hart was initially confused as to why he was flagged. She has served as attorney for Grant & Eisenhofer, the law firm currently suing Madison Square Garden’s parent company in a Delaware class action lawsuit involving several shareholder groups. A security guard informed her that she had been fired because of her job.

Madison Square Garden Entertainment, owned by James Dolan (known for kicking out fans who upset him) confirm RS In recent months, it has enacted a policy prohibiting anyone who has a lawsuit against the company from entering the company’s premises. The company’s use of the facial recognition tool itself dates back to at least 2018. new york times I reported about it. Anyone entering the venue was subject to scanning, and the practice now appears to be consistent with the policy for litigants.

“This is retaliation by those in power against others and is of concern to us.” Reuters report.heart reminisces She refused to give MSG security her ID, but they were able to correctly identify her anyway. They concluded that facial recognition was involved. “It was a very eerie experience to be on the receiving end in that moment.”

Hart said he was not involved in anything related to the Delaware lawsuit and was unaware of MSG’s policy until he learned it firsthand. (She said the company informed all attorneys of the situation after her incident, and MSG says it has notified all potentially affected companies of the policy.) “There are many possibilities for using technology to make our society better,” she adds. “But my real feeling here is that this incident shows abuse of technology, much like Elon Musk kicks people off Twitter, just because they can.”

Hart wasn’t the only attorney to report being identified by facial recognition technology before being kicked out of the venue. Yesterday, Kelly Conlon, an associate at law firm Davis, Saperstein and Solomon, had her face scanned on her NBC 4 in New York City before she was also escorted from her Radio City Rockettes show on Radio City Music. Said it was flagged in her software. Hall, the rest of the Girl Scouts who were with her daughter were allowed in.

Madison Square Garden appears to have banned lawyers for the affected companies. This applies regardless of the individual attorney’s status (or lack of status) in litigation against the company. Neither Hart nor Conlon are involved in their company’s lawsuit against MSG, they say. The ban itself has led to ongoing lawsuits against her MSG from dozens of lawyers and their firms. The judge in the case ruled that MSG can cancel ticket sales in most cases, but cannot deny entry to an arriving show if you have a valid ticket. Both plaintiff and defendant appealed. Meanwhile, Conlon’s companies, Davis, Saperstein and Solomon, said Tuesday that they plan to appeal the ban to NBC affiliates through New York’s Liquor Administration statute.

In a statement to rolling stone, Madison Square Garden confirmed its policy position, stating: Once the lawsuit is settled, the attorney will be allowed back. “MSG has enacted a simple policy of barring attorneys from companies with ongoing lawsuits against us from attending events at our venues until the lawsuit is resolved,” it said. The company said in a statement. “While we understand that this policy has disappointed some, we cannot ignore the fact that litigation creates an inherently hostile environment.”

Regarding its use of facial recognition tools to enforce its policy, the company said the tools are an important tool for event safety. The venues are in destinations around the world, some in major transit hubs in the heart of New York City. We have always made it clear to our guests and the public that we will continue to use facial recognition to protect against individuals that we have prohibited from entering our venues.

Hart didn’t buy it. “This is a really poor extension of the bullying behavior facilitated by the use of this technology,” she says. “Power run amok. It’s baffling to me. Where can I [Dolan] Draw a line? Can he draw it wherever he likes?

The grievances between MSG and its attorneys highlight a topic that is gaining more and more attention as biometric scanning technology at live events becomes more sophisticated. On the one hand, some argue that this kind of scanning does a legitimate job in keeping concerts safe for fans and artists. For example, Taylor Swift used facial scanning technology on her 2018 tour to ensure her safety from stalkers. But the technology also raises more thorny ethical questions. Fight for the Future, a group that has worked with artists such as Tom Morello and Kathleen Hannah to protest the spread of biometric technology at concert venues, is located in Denver, citing privacy concerns. He has strongly criticized biometric security strategies at other venues, such as AEG’s Red Rocks Amphitheater. Technology can be abused. Evan Greer, director of Fight for the Future, said Madison Square Garden’s practice of firing lawyers only further accentuates these concerns.

“It’s a perfect example of how these tools can be used in truly amazing ways,” she says. [Conlon] Arrested. But in reality, this was a company that amounted to petty complaints, using highly invasive monitoring devices to keep moms sitting outside while their kids went to concerts. ”


Greer said the ramifications of the technology go far beyond controversy over whose lawyers can see Brandi Carlyle or the Rockets perform, and could even extend to discrimination. She suggests that face scanning technology risks being used for purposes like ICE raids, and highlights that people of color are likely to be misidentified by the technology. Greer and Fight for the Future want to ban all kinds of biometric technology.

“This case really shows that they’re not using it for safety,” says Greer. It had nothing to do with the safety of the concertgoers, and the reality is there are other security measures in place: metal detectors do a lot more in terms of safety than facial recognition technology. That is why we need legislative action: this incentive to push the boundaries of how much scrutiny a company can evade, as long as they are allowed to do this always present.”

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