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Letitia James looking into MSG’s facial recognition tech after lawyers banned

January 30, 2023 Rob Abruzzese
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Madison Square Garden has reportedly begun using facial recognition technology to identify and deny entry to its events and the State’s Attorney General Letitia James has questions.

The issue began when MSG allegedly used facial recognition technology to identify and deny entry to a group of lawyers who are affiliated with law firms that represent clients in pending litigation related to MSG. Lawyers from as many as 90 law firms have allegedly been denied entry.

That led to James writing MSG a letter requesting more information from the company as she has concerns that it might run afoul of human rights laws.

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“MSG Entertainment cannot fight their legal battles in their own arenas,” James said. “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.”

The letter also questioned the reliability of the facial recognition software and inquired about safeguards that may or may not be in place to avoid bias and discrimination.

In addition to the Garden, MSG Entertainment owns and operates other venues in New York City including Radio City Music Hall, the Hulu Theater, and the Beacon Theatre.

The Attorney General said that MSG Entertainment may be violating New York’s civil and human rights laws by banning any lawyers who may have lawsuits against the company. She said that it could dissuade lawyers from taking on legitimate cases against the company so they aren’t cut off from attending the Knicks games or barred from seeing their favorite musical acts.

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