Portland enacts face recognition ban
10 September 2020 17:19 GMT

Portland City Council unanimously voted to ban the government and corporate use of facial recognition technology. 

The bill means that along with police officers being banned from using facial recognition to identify potential suspects, stores and businesses won't be able to use the technology either. 

Portland will both prohibit city bureaus from using the controversial technology and stop private companies from employing it in public areas.

Portland’s ban on corporate uses in public spaces is more expansive that  similar legislation in Oakland, San Francisco and Boston.

City Council Commissioner Jo Ann Hardesty has called the decision to ban local law enforcement from employing facial recognition tech “especially important” for the moment Portland now finds itself in.

“No one should have something as private as their face photographed, stored, and sold to third parties for a profit,” Hardesty said. “No one should be unfairly thrust into the criminal justice system because the tech algorithm misidentified an innocent person.”

Jann Carson, interim executive director of the ACLU of Oregon, had the following comment:

“Portland Police for months have been gassing, beating, and violently attacking the people of Portland to suppress their demands for racial justice. With today’s vote, the community made clear we hold the real power in this city. We will not let Portland turn into a surveillance state where police and corporations alike can track us wherever we go."

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