McClaughry: Facial recognition threat to privacy rights

by John McClaughry

Last month Kelly Conlon arrived with her daughter’s Girl Scout troop to watch a performance at Radio City Music Hall, but she abruptly was denied entry. Why? Conlon works for a law firm that Radio City’s parent company had blacklisted. Conlon was found out for an even more surprising reason: the venue’s use of facial recognition technology.

Conlon’s experience, while bizarre, gives a glimpse into a future with abundant facial recognition devices—one where our personal information can be accessed and used against us at a moment’s notice.

Conlon is an attorney working for a New Jersey-based law firm which is currently involved in personal injury litigation against a restaurant owned by MSG Entertainment, the parent company which also owns Radio City Music Hall. A twist of this litigation is that the company decided that all attorneys working for law firms engaged in litigation against them are banned “from attending events at our venues until that litigation has been resolved.”

Conlon says she was identified almost immediately by a facial recognition device, and almost immediately heard over an intercom or loudspeaker, “woman with long dark hair and a grey scarf.” Security demanded her ID, told her that she had been spotted by facial recognition, she was not allowed to be there, and forced her to wait outside during the show.

Facial recognition data in government hands could lead to a staggering invasion of individuals’ most basic privacy rights.

The author, a Kirby resident, is founder and vice-president of the Ethan Allen Institute. To read all EAI news and commentary, go to

Categories: Commentary

3 replies »

  1. Way too late. Members of society freely post selfies and family photos on social media platforms. Facebook/Meta and Google are part of the three letter agenies as we know. If you shop at Walmart, or many other stores, you are filmed from entry to exit. The cellphone that people constantly stare at 3/4 of a day is tracking 24 hours a day. If the appliance is “smart,” it is downloading 24 hours a day. If you took a coof test, the DNA on every swab is being sold for genetic engineering labs across the globe. Financial records and banking information is no longer private either. Particulary, much of it is loaded on a cellphone, laptop or PC or read the fine print regarding selling or providing information to third-parties – which also includes all your medical information. A right to privacy is a fallacy and a relic of the past.

  2. It’s not the method of identifying the individual which is so concerning but the fact that she, as a private individual was denied entry because of who she chooses to be employed by. Unless the shunning was contractually agreed upon,it sounds like an actionable civil rights violation. Maybe she should have worn a covid mask?

  3. “The U.S. federal government is tracking people who decided not to get the COVID-19 vaccine injection, according to bombshell federal government records and video exclusively obtained by NATIONAL FILE. According to the shocking video, unvaccinated people are quietly tracked when they go to the doctor’s office or to the hospital due to a quiet new program proposed and implemented by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Government meeting materials make clear that the new program is designed to “to track people who are not immunized or only partially immunized.”