Last weekend, Kelly Conlon, a lawyer from New Jersey, and her daughter arrived in New York City along with other members of a Girl Scout troop and their mothers to watch the Rockettes perform in the annual “Christmas Spectacular” show at Radio City Music Hall. However, shortly after entering the theater, Conlon was flagged by security and told to leave due to her place of employment.
Conlon works for the law firm Davis, Sperstein and Solomon, which has been involved in personal injury litigation against a restaurant venue owned by MSG Entertainment for years. MSG also operates Radio City Music Hall and produces the holiday musical with the Rockettes. Despite not practicing law in New York and not being actively involved in any cases involving MSG, Conlon was not allowed to see the performance with her daughter and the Girl Scout troop.
According to Conlon, the incident happened almost immediately upon entering the theater. “It was pretty simultaneous, I think, to me, going through the metal detector, that I heard over an intercom or loudspeaker,” she told NBC New York. “I heard them say ‘woman with long dark hair and a gray scarf.'” Security guards then approached Conlon and asked for her name and identification, already knowing her information. “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 shared.
The use of facial recognition technology at public events and venues has been a controversial topic, with concerns about privacy and potential biases in the technology. In this instance, it seems that Conlon was targeted based on her association with a law firm that has a legal dispute with the venue owner, leading to a humiliating and embarrassing experience for her. Conlon stated, “I was just a mom taking my daughter to see a Christmas show. I did wait outside … It was embarrassing, it was mortifying.”
While the use of facial recognition technology may have its benefits in certain situations, it is important to consider the potential consequences and impacts on individuals. In this case, Kelly Conlon was unfairly denied the opportunity to attend a holiday show with her daughter and the Girl Scout troop due to her place of employment and a legal dispute that she was not directly involved in. This incident serves as a reminder of the need to carefully evaluate and regulate the use of such technology to ensure that it does not infringe on the rights and privacy of individuals.