PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) – Portland City Commissioners are considering banning the use of facial recognition technology as people raise concerns regarding privacy and accuracy.
The commission Tuesday held a work session to begin looking into the issue.
The proposal could prevent government agencies from using the identification technology. It could also restrict corporations and retailers in Portland from using the technology.
For example, the Jackson’s Food Store on Southeast Grand recently installed a camera that can scan faces to “prevent future theft and potential danger from happening”.
In order for a person to walk inside, they must first look at the camera. The company that makes the product, Blue Line Technology, says people who are wearing masks will not be able to enter.
Some who have studied facial recognition technology say it often misidentifies people, especially people of color and women.
“These are matters of privacy and consent and civil rights,” Jo Ann Hardesty, Portland city commissioner, said. “The technology is currently extremely biased against people of color and women. Even if these problems are improved – automated surveillance and the collection of biometric data is unacceptable. We need to take a strong stand that the surveillance state is not welcome in the city of Portland.”
Facial recognition is being used all over the U.S. It relies on artificial intelligence and can match the faces of real-life people to images in databases. Privacy advocates and some commissioners worry about how law enforcement agencies use this technology.
San Francisco and Oakland have recently banned or restricted the use of facial recognition for their police forces and other government agencies. Portland City Commissioners could vote to ban the technology for private and public agencies as soon as November.
Copyright 2019 KPTV-KPDX Broadcasting Corporation. All rights reserved.