Should unchecked facial recognition be legal?

Bloomberg via Getty Images
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One evening in late November, New Jersey attorney Kelly Conlon was chaperoning her daughter’s Girl Scout troop to see a Rockettes show at Radio City Music Hall.

Soon after arriving at the historic New York City venue, she was pulled aside by security and asked to confirm her identity. They told her their facial recognition system already knew who she was, and more importantly, where she worked, Conlon told The New York Times.

She was denied entry.

The issue was her law firm was involved in litigation against Radio City Music Hall’s parent company, Madison Square Garden Entertainment (MSGE). As a result, Conlon — as well as lawyers at other firms pursuing litigation against MSGE — had been placed on an “exclusion list” at a string of popular venues owned by the group.

The story has become a flashpoint in the debate around facial recognition technology. While proponents say it has the ability to keep people safer, critics counter that there is little to support this idea, and warn that unchecked use of the technology could have untold consequences.


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Chuck comes from a lineage of journalism. He has written for some of the webs most popular news sites. He enjoys spending time outdoors, bull riding, and collecting old vinyl records. Roll Tide!