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Two ordinances will be considered by the Portland City Council on Wednesday, Sept. 9.

CITY OF PORTLAND - The official seal of the City of Portland.The City Council is scheduled to consider what may be the strongest bans on facial recognition technologies in the county on Wednesday.

One ordinance would prohibit the acquisition and use of such technologies by city bureaus. The other would prohibit the use of them by private entities in places of public accommodation under the jurisdiction of the city of Portland.

Both ordinances say that such technologies are flawed.

"The City of Portland recognizes that Face Recognition Technologies are based on the collection of sensitive information from people and biases against Black people, women and older people in these technologies have been demonstrated," reads the impact statement on one of the ordinances.

"Without clear processes available to cities to assess, evaluate and determine trust in technological solutions using face recognition, there is a risk of discrimination and harm, because Face Recognition Technologies collect sensitive personal information and may lead to different decisions about access for those people for which these technologies are biased against," the statement continues.

Commissioner Jo Ann Hardesty released a statement saying, "With these concerning reports of state surveillance of Black Lives Matter activists and the use of facial recognition technology to aid in the surveillance, it is especially important that Portland prohibits its bureaus from using this technology.

"#FacialRecognition tech, with its gender and racial bias and inaccuracies, is an intrusion on Portlanders' privacy. No one should have something as private as their face photographed, stored and sold to third parties for a profit. No one should be unfairly thrust into the criminal justice system because the tech algorithm misidentified an innocent person."

The hearing is scheduled to begin at 2 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 9. The ordinances and more information can be found at portlandmaps.com/bps/mapapp.


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