A mother who was simply looking to enjoy a Rockettes performance with her daughter and their group of Girl Scouts was kicked out of Radio City Music Hall when facial recognition technology identified her.
Kelly Conlon, an attorney, is a senior associate with the New Jersey personal injury firm Davis, Saperstein and Salomon. The law firm represents a client currently suing a restaurant that is owned by the parent company, MSG Entertainment.
Conlon told NBC New York that security guards approached her and asked for identification almost as soon as she entered the venue. Then the guards kicked Conlon out of the venue because she works for the law firm even though she is not involved in the litigation against the company and does not practice in New York.
Conlon’s daughter watched the show without her mother but could sit with the rest of the Girl Scouts for the performance.
“I was just a mom taking my daughter to see a Christmas show,” she told NBC New York. “I did wait outside. … It was embarrassing. It was mortifying.”
Sam Davis, a partner in the firm, told NBC New York that Conlon’s experience brings to light the potential impacts of facial recognition technology.
Davis told NBC New York, “Taking a mother, separating a mother from her daughter and Girl Scouts she was watching over — and to do it under the pretext of protecting any disclosure of litigation information — is absolutely absurd. The fact they’re using facial recognition to do this is frightening. It’s un-American to do this.”
In a statement, MSG Entertainment said, “While we understand this policy is disappointing to some, we cannot ignore the fact that litigation creates an inherently adversarial environment. All impacted attorneys were notified of the policy, including Davis, Saperstein and Salomon, which was notified twice. In this particular situation, only the one attorney who chose to attend despite being notified in advance that she would be denied entry was not permitted to enter, and the rest of her group — including the Girl Scouts — were all able to attend and enjoy the show.”
The policy has been challenged by several firms involved in lawsuits against MSG Entertainment. Some of whom have unsuccessfully challenged the ban in court. At a hearing last month, Chancellor Kathaleen McCormick of Delaware Chancery Court called the policy “the stupidest thing I’ve ever read,” Reuters reported.