In early February, I spent $171.59 to see the Rangers play the Canucks at Madison Square Garden. I had no plans to watch the hockey game. I just wanted to find out whether my guest, Tia Garcia, a personal injury lawyer, could get into the building.
We got in the security line and walked through the metal detector. Then, as Ms. Garcia turned to pick up her bag from the conveyor belt, a security guard asked her to step aside and show her driver’s license. “Am I in trouble?” she asked.
The guard told her that she would need to wait for management to come speak to her.
He didn’t explain why, but we already knew: Ms. Garcia is one of thousands of lawyers on a ban list because their firms are involved in litigation against the arena’s parent company. While we were in line, facial recognition technology identified her.
“Have you been here before?” the guard asked. When Ms. Garcia told him that she had seen the Cavaliers play the Knicks a few weeks earlier, he expressed surprise. That time, Ms. Garcia had worn a medical mask, a hat and glasses. This time, her face was clearly visible.