Radio City facial recognition debacle constitutes ‘privacy breach’: lawyer

It turns out that booting lawyers only creates more potential lawsuits.

A lawyer representing the attorney who was tagged by facial recognition and kicked out of Radio City said Wednesday the ordeal was an outrageous “privacy violation” that could give rise to a lawsuit.

Kelly Conlon — who was denied entry to a Rockettes show because her law firm is suing Madison Square Garden Entertainment — suffered from dubious technology that violates the privacy of anyone entering the venue, said Sam Davis, a partner at Conlon’s New law firm from Jersey.

“If we sue, we will sue to prevent [MSG CEO James Dolan] from using this weapon against the public. It would be a plea for privacy,” Davis said of Davis, Saperstein and Salomon.

“I think the public should know what [Dolan] does with those pictures as soon as he takes them,” Davis added. “[The suit] would get to the bottom of it because someone with their motives should not be the standard-bearer for this new era of privacy invasion.”

Conlon, 44, was taking her 9-year-old daughter’s Boy Scout troop to the Radio City Christmas Spectacular last month when she was singled out by the venue’s facial recognition system and refused entry.

Kelly Conlon with Sam Davis
An attorney representing Kelly Conlon could sue Madison Square Garden.
Radio City Music Hall, now with "face recognition" Security.
Radio City Music Hall began using facial recognition to ensure safety for guests and staff.
Matthew McDermott

After being refused entry, she was forced to spend 90 minutes wandering outside in the rain while the troupe enjoyed the show without her, she said.

Conlon later learned that she was booted because her law firm was involved in an ongoing personal injury lawsuit involving a restaurant owned by MSG Entertainment, the owner of Radio City Music Hall.

A sign in Radio City tells guests that “biometric identification information” is being used as a security measure to keep guests and staff safe — but there was no reason for security concerns in Conlon’s situation, Davis said.

James Dolan
MSG CEO James Dolan is in the line of fire for using facial recognition.
GC images

“Once you start using [the technology] for something other than what you tell the public you’re using it for — which is for their safety — we want to know what else you’re using it for,” Davis said, asking questions about whether Dolan is “monetizing” the images.

“Do you use it to keep track of people you don’t like? Do you share this data with anyone else? Are you sharing it with law enforcement?” he said. “[Dolan’s] must be sincere with his guests.”

Dolan has suspended anyone who works for a law firm with an ongoing lawsuit against one of his holdings, including the Knicks, Rangers, Radio City, MSG and various restaurants.

MSG Entertainment did not immediately respond to a request for comment Wednesday.

But the company previously defended the move to sack Conlon.

“MSG has implemented a simple policy preventing attorneys from law firms with active litigation against the company from attending events at our venues until that litigation is resolved. While we understand that this policy may disappoint some, we cannot ignore the fact that litigation creates an inherently controversial environment,” MSG Entertainment said Tuesday. Radio City facial recognition debacle constitutes ‘privacy breach’: lawyer


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