Portland might be the first city in US ever to ban facial recognition

Dec 5 2019, 6:25 pm

Portland might soon become the very first city in the history of the United States to ban facial recognition technology software for both private and public companies.

This move is being supported by Commissioner Jo Ann Hardesty, the first woman of color to be elected to Portland’s city council, who has been exploring the issue and idea of a ban since September.

If the move to ban facial recognition software for private and public sectors goes ahead, it would make this the most severe ban on the software in the entire country.

While other cities like Somerville, Berkeley, and San Francisco have passed bans on the software’s use by public sectors including the police and the city’s respective governments, Portland is the first city to extend this ban to private companies and businesses.

Facial recognition has been cited to perpetuate and cause racial and gender bias, along with accuracy problems associated with this kind of technology, according to Commisoner Hardesty.

Hardesty stated that reports and studies have shown that facial recognition software has generated a large number of false positives especially for people of colour, in addition to misgendering women.

Daily Hive has reached out to Hardesty for comments and will update this article accordingly.

Lakshmi SadhuLakshmi Sadhu

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