Mom's Attempt to See Rockettes Stymied by Facial Recognition

Kelly Conlon says she was booted from Radio City Music Hall because of where she works
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 21, 2022 12:10 PM CST
Lawyer Warns of Venue's 'Frightening' Use of Facial Recognition
The Ada Twist, Scientist balloon floats past Radio City Music Hall during the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, Thursday, Nov. 24, 2022, in New York.   (AP Photo/Jeenah Moon)

A mother and attorney from New Jersey is warning about powerful companies' use of facial recognition to target perceived enemies after the technology helped get her kicked out of a show at New York City's Radio City Music Hall. Kelly Conlon was escorting a Girl Scouts troop to a Rockettes show when she was confronted by security "about 20 seconds" after entering the venue, per the New York Post. "I believe they said that our recognition picked you up," says Conlon, who works at a law firm involved in personal injury litigation against a restaurant owned by Madison Square Garden Entertainment, the same company that owns Radio City Music Hall, per NBC New York.

"They knew my name before I told them. They knew the firm I was associated with before I told them. And they told me I was not allowed to be there," Conlon tells NBC. In a statement, MSG Entertainment says it has "a straightforward policy that precludes attorneys pursuing active litigation against the Company from attending events at our venues until that litigation has been resolved." It adds Conlon's firm—New Jersey-based Davis, Saperstein and Salomon—was twice informed of the policy. Conlon, who is not involved in any litigation against MSG and doesn't practice in New York, says she believed a judge's order had disallowed the policy, which had prompted lawsuits from other firms.

"I was just a mom taking my daughter to see a Christmas show," says Conlon, describing the experience as "mortifying." She says she was forced to wait outside the venue, where signs alerting guests to the use of facial recognition are posted, as her 9-year-old daughter enjoyed the show. Sam Davis, a partner at Conlon's firm who describes the use of facial recognition in this case as "frightening" and "un-American," now hopes to challenge MSG's liquor license, arguing it "requires them to admit members of the public," unless they "constitute a security threat." A rep for MSG claims the policy complies with all applicable laws, including those administered by the New York State Liquor Authority. (More facial recognition technology stories.)

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