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

New York Lawyer Basic Letitia James has despatched a letter to MSG Leisure, the proprietor and operator of Madison Sq. Backyard and Radio Metropolis Music Corridor, asking for details about its use of facial recognition to disclaim entry to attorneys at corporations representing its authorized opponents. James’s letter warns that the Orwellian coverage might violate native, state and federal human rights legal guidelines, together with these prohibiting retaliation.

MSG Leisure’s facial recognition has been figuring out and denying entry to legal professionals from corporations representing shoppers suing the corporate — whether or not or not these attorneys are straight concerned within the circumstances. The corporate, led by CEO James Dolan (who additionally owns the New York Knicks and Rangers), has defended the coverage, framing it as an try to forestall proof assortment “exterior correct litigation discovery channels.” Nevertheless, legal professionals have known as that rationale “ludicrous,” criticizing the ban as a “clear effort” to punish attorneys for suing them.

The corporate has eliminated at the very least 4 legal professionals from occasions at its venues since October — together with at Knicks and Rangers video games, concert events and Christmas exhibits. When passing by means of a metallic detector, the world’s facial recognition matched the attorneys with images from their corporations’ web sites. James’s workplace says the coverage impacts all legal professionals working at greater than 90 corporations.

Within the letter, James warns MSG Leisure that blocking individuals from venues might violate New York’s civil and human rights legal guidelines whereas inflicting different attorneys to suppose twice about taking up official circumstances towards the corporate. “MSG Leisure can not struggle their authorized battles in their very own arenas,” stated AG James. “Madison Sq. Backyard and Radio Metropolis Music Corridor are world-renowned venues and will deal with all patrons who bought tickets with equity and respect. Anybody with a ticket to an occasion shouldn’t be involved that they could be wrongfully denied entry primarily based on their look, and we’re urging MSG Leisure 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 Leisure CEO James Dolan

USA TODAY USPW / reuters

The Lawyer Basic isn’t alone in taking up Dolan and MSG Leisure. New York state lawmakers Brad Hoylman-Sigal, Liz Krueger and Tony Simone launched a invoice on Monday to outlaw the coverage. It might amend a earlier state civil rights regulation prohibiting venues from denying entry to anybody with a official ticket, including “sporting occasions” to the record of qualifying occasions.

Madison Sq. Backyard has used facial recognition for safety since at the very least 2018. James’s letter calls on MSG Leisure to justify its use of the tech and report its steps to adjust to New York civil and human rights legal guidelines to make sure the tech gained’t result in additional discrimination. “Discrimination and retaliation towards those that have petitioned the federal government for redress,” reads the letter, “don’t have any place in New York.”

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