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Monday, July 19, 2021

Black Girl Banned From Skating Rink After Facial Recognition Software Misidentified Her

Lamya Robinson

Nationwide — The parents of Lamya Robinson, a Black teenage girl from Michigan, are highly upset after a local roller skating rink reportedly refused entry to their daughter after their facial recognition software misidentified her as someone else.

“To me, it’s basically racial profiling. You’re just saying every young Black, brown girl with glasses fits the profile and that’s not right,” the girl’s mother, Juliea Robinson, told Fox 2 Detroit. She also said that they are looking to file a complaint against the skating rink.

Earlier this month, Lamya was dropped off by her mother at Riverside Arena skating rink to hang out with her friends. Upon entry, she was accused of getting into a fight at the venue months ago after being scanned by the facial recognition software.

Lamya said she got confused because it was her first time at the skating rink. But she was still asked to leave immediately and banned to return.

“You all put my daughter out of the establishment by herself, not knowing what could have happened,” the girl’s father Derrick Robinson said about the incident. “It just happened to be a blessing that she was calling in frustration to talk to her cousin, but at the same time he pretty much said I’m not that far, let me go see what’s wrong with her.”

Meanwhile, Riverside Arena said in a statement that one of their managers reached out to Lamya’s mother to explain the incident.

“He explained to her, this is our usual process, as sometimes the line is quite long and it’s a hard look into things when the system is running,” according to their statement. “The software had her daughter at a 97 percent match. This is what we looked at, not the thumbnail photos Ms. Robinson took a picture of, if there was a mistake, we apologize for that.”