With police tactics under immense scrutiny in Portland, the moment could not be any more ripe – or raw – for a vote on legislation limiting the ability for law enforcement to employ facial recognition in the name of public safety.
The use of facial recognition technology has important implications when it comes to law enforcement, surveillance, privacy, racial and gender equity and more. Portland City Council Commissioners will vote later this summer on two ordinances which could impose the most radical bans on facial recognition in the country.
Banned in PDX, XRAY’s new podcast series, is tracking this groundbreaking legislation. In it, listeners not only learn what facial recognition is and how it’s used, they’ll get stories about issues that matter to Portlanders that they can’t hear anywhere else:
- How Amazon, a maker of facial recognition technology used right next door in Washington County, lobbied against Portland’s ban
- Why a group with strong ties to the makers of facial recognition wants law enforcement to use it in Portland
- How facial recognition technology has been used to identify Black Lives Matter protestors elsewhere and how it could be used here in Portland
- How a facial recognition system used to block unwelcome patrons at convenience stores in Portland works
- Why former St. Louis police officers designed the technology used at those convenience stores
- Plus – future episodes will address potential ban opposition from local business groups, Portland’s plans to create policy for all biometric identification technologies, and will feature an interview with Sen. Jeff Merkly (D-OR) about federal legislation that could regulate biometric tech.