Amid sometimes violent protests and counter-protests around racial justice, this week Portland, Oregon legislators unanimously passed groundbreaking new legislation to ban the use of facial recognition technology, which some see as a victory for civil rights and digital justice. The ban covers use of the technology in both privately owned places as well as by city agencies. From a report: “I believe what we’re passing is model legislation that the rest of the country will be emulating as soon as we have completed our work here,” said Portland City Council Commissioner Jo Ann Hardesty during today’s city council session. “This is really about making sure that we are prioritizing our most vulnerable community members and community members of color.” Hardesty has been a vocal advocate for a facial recognition ban in the city for over a year. Established as two pieces of companion legislation, one ordinance makes Portland the first U.S. city to prohibit use of facial recognition technologies inside privately owned places accessible to the public, such as stores, banks, Airbnb rentals, restaurants, entertainment venues, public transit stations, homeless shelters, senior centers, law and doctors’ offices, and a variety of other businesses. Further reading: Amazon Spent $24,000 To Kill Portland’s Facial Recognition Ban.
The opposite of a correct statement is a false statement. But the opposite
of a profound truth may well be another profound truth.
— Niels Bohr