City of Portland passes facial recognition bans

On Wednesday, September 9th, the Portland City Council unanimously passed two facial recognition ban ordinances: one that addresses the use of the technology by City bureaus and a second that addresses use by private entities in places of public accommodation.

With the adoption of the public ban, Portland joined fourteen other cities that had already banned use of face recognition by government agencies. And with ratification of the private ban, Portland became the first city in the nation to prohibit use of face recognition technology in stores and other private spaces that are open to the public.

Links to the the approved ordinances:

Ban on government use of facial recognition technology
(PDF of ordinance via the City of Portland)

Ban on private use of facial recognition technology
(PDF of ordinance via the City of Portland)

In advocating for the passage of these ordinances, PDX Privacy organized a coalition of thirty-nine civil society organizations in support of the public ban and then assembled a second coalition of sixteen organizations in support of the private ban. We thank all of our partners for joining the effort to ban facial recognition in Portland, and we also congratulate Smart City PDX, Commissioner Jo Ann Hardesty and her office, and the Office of Equity and Human Rights, for all of their hard work in producing thoughtful legislation and in fighting off attempts to weaken the bills.

Links to the coalition letters we submitted as testimony in support of the bills:

Public ban coalition letter submitted to Portland City Council
(PDF via PDXPrivacy.org)

Private ban coalition letter in submitted to Portland City Council
(PDF via PDXPrivacy.org)

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