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Madison Square Garden CEO Enforcing Bans with Facial Recognition

Madison Square Garden CEO Enforcing Bans with Facial Recognition

The CEO of the Madison Square Garden Entertainment Corporation (MSG), James Dolan, is using facial recognition to ban lawyers that are suing the group from attending events.


“At Madison Square Garden, if you’re suing us, we’re just asking of you – please don’t come until you’re done with your argument with us,” Dolan told Fox 5. “And yes, we’re using facial recognition to enforce that.”


Dolan claimed that Madison Square Garden is entitled to determine who can attend events at the venue because it is a private company.


However, New York Attorney General Letitia James sent a letter to MSG questioning the legitimacy of Dolan’s decision. CNN reported, “The letter said the attorney general’s office has reviewed reports MSG Entertainment has used facial recognition to identify and deny entry to multiple lawyers affiliated with law firms involved in ongoing litigation with the company. The letter indicates thousands of attorneys from around 90 law firms may have been impacted by the policy, and said the ban includes those holding season tickets.”


Questions regarding the accuracy of MSG’s facial recognition software have been raised as well as concerns that the ban might violate local, state and federal human rights laws. 


In a statement released on Thursday, a spokesperson for MSG told CNN, “To be clear, our policy does not unlawfully prohibit anyone from entering our venues and it is not our intent to dissuade attorneys from representing plaintiffs in litigation against us. We are merely excluding a small percentage of lawyers only during active litigation.” They added, “Most importantly, to even suggest anyone is being excluded based on the protected classes identified in state and federal civil rights laws is ludicrous.”

Exterior image of Madison Square Garden.
Image courtesy: Ajay Suresh
Maggie Caraway