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New York Judge Rejects Madison Square Garden’s Bid To Dismiss Biometric Privacy Case Involving Facial Recognition

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A New York judge has denied Madison Square Garden Entertainment’s motion to dismiss a biometric privacy lawsuit. The litigation revolves around a contentious policy, enacted by MSGE, which deployed facial recognition technology to prohibit certain attorneys from gaining entry into the entertainment giant’s renowned venues.

The lawsuit, had previously survived MSGE’s initial attempt to dismiss it. The entertainment firm once again finds itself rebuffed in the District Court for the Southern District of New York, despite raising multiple arguments pleading for a dismissal.

In the core of the dispute lies MSGE’s use of facial scanning systems. Initially installed to deter individuals deemed dangerous, the company made adjustments to the dataset on June 22. Following these changes, the system started pinpointing specified lawyers, citing claims that these attorneys – typically tied to firms currently in litigation against MSGE—might be present on MSGE premises for lawsuit-related duties.

The suit will move forward, as ruled by the presiding judge, focusing on whether MSGE’s tactics violate the city’s Biometric Identifier Information Protection Law. Even though the judge acknowledged MSGE’s rationale for wanting to dismiss the plaintiffs’ claims of civil rights violations and unjust enrichment, the alleged breach of the city’s biometrics statute remains a query.

The judge found credence in the plaintiffs’ assertion that MSGE could “profit” from executing face scans on the specified attorneys, which might contravene the city’s biometric policy. This argument contends that any profits accrued by company executives from these scans – attributed to dissuading litigation and hence curbing MSGE’s significant legal costs – indeed poses a potential breach of the law.

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