NY lawyers push support for biometric privacy act
A New York State Bar Association working group has weighed in on the side of restraint in a pair of issues involving facial recognition. Its report is expected to help craft association policy.
The committee last week issued a report on the use of biometric systems and access to legal representation.
Committee members say that consumers should have certain rights to privacy when it comes to facial recognition and, separately, that lawyers should not be discriminated against just because of whom they represent – in this case, through facial recognition.
First, the NYSBA report recommends (with one abstention) that members officially stand behind State Senate Bill 4459/Assembly Bill 1362, otherwise known as Biometric Privacy Act. New York’s legislation is included in the bar association’s report.
Like the state of Illinois’ landmark Biometric Information Privacy Act, New York’s bill would give consumers the right to sue private organizations that collect their biometric identifiers without prior written consent. Collectors also would have to explain how their data would be managed.
The second matter is, by itself, barely a footnote, but in context, it is a parry in a high-profile court battle in Manhattan.
Committee members want an amendment to New York’s civil rights law that would expand the code’s section 40-b, which makes it illegal for public entertainment and amusement venues to prevent a ticketholder from entering the venue.
They want to add professional or collegiate sports venues, to increase monetary penalties for infractions and to allow courts to impose injunctive relief.
This is squarely aimed at James Dolan, the CEO and executive chairman of Madison Square Garden Entertainment. Dolan, another in a crowd of colorful (some have said obnoxious) real estate moguls in the city, who a year ago began using facial recognition at his many sports and entertainment venues to bar opposing counsel from entry.
He has said that opposing counsel could be attending a Taylor Swift concert, for example, to pump ushers or food vendors for information central to litigation (of which there is no shortage) targeting Madison Square Garden properties.