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Dom Napoletano to head State Bar Association’s facial recognition study

February 8, 2023 Rob Abruzzese
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Shortly after Attorney General Letitia James expressed concern with how Madison Square Garden is using facial recognition technology, the New York State Bar Association (NYSBA) has also grown concerned enough that it has created a committee to study it.

The NYSBA announced on Thursday that it intends on creating a Working Group on Facial Recognition Technology and Access to Legal Representation to study the issue.

“The use of facial recognition software to exclude members of law firms from a Knicks basketball game or a Taylor Swift concert discriminates against lawyers for doing their jobs,” said Sherry Levin Wallach, president of the New York State Bar Association. “A law firm should be able to represent clients in a personal injury lawsuit, a dispute about concert tickets or any other legal matter without fear of retribution. We must regulate facial recognition software before it has an irreversible impact on the personal lives of all of us.”

Madison Square Garden Entertainment recently made news when it began to use facial recognition technology to keep out any attorneys associated with law firms that had lawsuits against it. The move is legally ambiguous and potentially a violation of civil rights which is why the Attorney General immediately made a move to get more information from the company.

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The NYSBA has tasked Domenick Napoletano, who will be the next president-elect and is a past president of the Brooklyn Bar Association, to run the working group. It will examine the legal and ethical implications and the impact on personal freedom. They want to specifically examine whether the impact on the technology might cause attorneys to not take on certain clients for fear of retribution from corporations.

Napoletano’s committee will report back to the Executive Committee at the NYSBA, which will then consider further action. Also included on the committee are attorneys Orin Cohen, Sarah Gold, LaMarr Jackson, Thomas Maroney, Michael May, and Diana Sen.

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