Portland city (USA) introduces restrictions on facial recognition technology

City authorities in Portland (Oregon, USA) have adopted two ordinances restricting the use of facial recognition technology (FRT). The first ordinance prohibits the acquisition and use of FRT by city bureaus, except for the following purposes: verification purposes for staff to access their electronic devices, in automatic face detection services in social media applications, and in detecting faces for the sole purpose of redacting a recording for release of disclosure outside the city to protect the privacy of a subject. The second ordinance prohibits private entities from using the technology in ‘places of public accommodation’ in the city. The two documents note that the use of FRT raises concerns around privacy, intrusiveness, gender and racial bias, and lack of transparency and accountability, which ‘particularly in the context of false positives in law enforcement can create devastating impacts on individuals and families’.