Facial Recognition Tech Booted Girl Scout Mom From Rockettes Show

USA News

  • A mom was barred from seeing the Rockettes after she was flagged by facial recognition technology.
  • The law firm where the mom works is part of litigation against an affiliate of MSG Entertainment, which runs Radio City Music Hall.
  • MSG Entertainment confirmed to Insider that the mom wasn’t let in, even though she’s not involved in the case.

A mom who went to see the famed Rockettes perform at New York’s Radio City Music Hall with her daughter and the child’s Girl Scout troop was kicked out when facial recognition technology flagged her as being blacklisted. 

Kelly Conlon, a New Jersey attorney, was booted from the theater last month and didn’t get to see the Christmas Spectacular show.

“I was just a mom taking my daughter to see a Christmas show,” Conlon told NBC New York, which first reported on the ordeal on Monday. 

The mom said that she ultimately “waited outside” for the duration of the 90-minute show, which was attended by her daughter, fellow Girl Scouts and other mothers. 

“It was embarrassing. It was mortifying,” Conlon told the news outlet. 

Conlon, an associate at the personal injury law firm Davis, Saperstein and Salomon, said that security guards at the venue zoned in on her after she went through metal detectors. 

“It was pretty simultaneous, I think, to me, going through the metal detector, that I heard over an intercom or loudspeaker,” Conlon said. “I heard them say ‘woman with long dark hair and gray scarf.'”

Conlon added, “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.”

The mother, who was asked to provide identification, said that she was told that “our [facial] recognition picked you up.” 

Signage inside Radio City Music Hall alerts patrons that the venue uses “a variety of security measures; including Facial Recognition which uses Biometric Identifier Information.”

The law firm where Conlon works is involved in active litigation against a restaurant affiliated with Madison Square Garden Entertainment, the owner of the venue. 

Conlon said that she was barred from entering the venue even though she doesn’t practice law in New York and isn’t working on any legal cases against MSG Entertainment. 

MSG Entertainment defended its actions to Insider on Wednesday, saying that the company bans anyone whose firm is suing MSG from attending any event at its venues — even if the attorney isn’t working on the case directly.

“While we understand this policy is disappointing to some, we cannot ignore the fact that litigation creates an inherently adversarial environment,” MSG Entertainment said. 

MSG Entertainment said that Conlon’s firm was sent two letters on October 28 and days before the Christmas Spectacular show on November 14. 

The company continued, “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.”

MSG Entertainment’s policy barring attorneys from firms pursuing active litigation against the company went into effect in June. 

Under the policy, those attorneys are only allowed back at MSG Entertainment events once the legal cases have ended. 

Samuel Davis, a partner at the law firm where Conlon works, blasted MSG Entertainment over the incident. 

“Separating a mother from her daughter and Girl Scouts that she was watching over and to do it under the pretext of protecting any disclosure of litigation information is absolutely absurd,” Davis told NBC New York.

“The fact that they’re using facial recognition technology to do this is frightening,” he said. “It’s just un-American to do this.”

MSG Entertainment justified its use of facial recognition technology in a statement to Insider and explained that it is a “widely” used tool for safety purposes.

“We have always made it clear to our guests and to the public that we use facial recognition as one of our tools to provide a safe and secure environment and we will continue to use it to protect against the entry of individuals who we have prohibited from entering our venues,” the company said. 

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