Madison Square Garden’s Face Recognition Tech Under Investigation – The Hollywood Reporter

New York Attorney General Letitia James is investigating the reported practice of using facial recognition software to bar Madison Square Garden Entertainment and attorneys involved in lawsuits against the company from attending events. doing.

In a letter sent Tuesday to Madison Square Garden Entertainment, which owns Madison Square Garden and Radio City Music Hall, the New York Attorney General’s office urged the company to end the practice, urging the company to comply with New York’s civil rights law and other laws. questioned whether the city violated state and federal laws prohibiting discrimination and retaliation for engaging in protected activities.

As detailed in the letter, the Madison Square Garden venue used facial recognition software to ensure that “all attorneys at all law firms representing clients involved in litigation against us” in New York. There were reports that they were forbidden to enter the venue. The policy affects about 90 law firms and thousands of lawyers, according to the letter.

“MSG Entertainment cannot fight legal battles in their own arenas,” James said. Patrons should be treated fairly and respectfully, and those with tickets to events should not have to worry about being unjustly denied entry based on their physical appearance, and should be treated with respect by MSG Entertainment. We request that this policy be withdrawn.

The office is seeking answers from the company on how its use of facial technology does not lead to discrimination, and the letter argues the ban could deter lawyers from filing lawsuits against the company, arguing that lawyers have Claims to encourage lawsuits to be dropped. Participation in events may be retaliatory.

A Madison Square Garden representative did not respond to a request for comment.

On Monday, state senators Brad Hoyleman-Segal and Liz Krueger, and Rep. Tony Simone, will ban “wrongful refusal of admission to public entertainment venues” for ticketed patrons. introduced a bill to add “sporting events” or entertainment to the state’s existing civil rights laws. The law currently applies only to concerts and theatrical events.

Several companies affected by the ban have also sued the company.

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