Portland has voted for the first ever ban on facial recognition in the United States in private entities, including restaurants and retail stores, as well as in public places in the city.
Portland’s city council voted to ban local government bureaus from acquiring or using facial recognition surveillance technology. Other U.S. cities which have previously banned government usage of facial recognition are Oakland and San Francisco.
Facial recognition software can identify individuals from videos and photos based on a database of known subjects. The technology significantly aids law enforcement as well as businesses. In the last few years, it has won over many businesses including Amazon.com inc.
According to the American Civil Liberties Union, it invades people’s privacy and exacerbates racial and gender biases.
In a statement, the American Civil Liberties Union said, it hopes the passage of the legislation in Portland would spur efforts to ban the use of such surveillance technology across the state of Oregon.