News BriefsTechnology

Portland Issues Sweeping Ban on All Facial Recognition Use

Portland has made US history, becoming the first city to enact a ban on the controversial facial recognition technology plaguing both the law enforcement and security industries. The sweeping ban covers both public and private sector organizations. Other municipalities such as Boston and San Francisco have taken a tough stance on the technology, however, Portland’s decision marks the first city to effectively reach all organizations in their ban.

The city councilors voted unanimously for the motion, stating that the indiscriminate use of the technologies is a threat to civil liberties, citing evidence that they could disproportionately target or have a negative effect on minorities. Facial recognition technologies are known to contain gender and racial biases due to the machine learning process that powers them. The city of Portland cited this research in its recent ruling.

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