Portland passes broadest facial recognition ban in the US

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The city of Portland, Oregon, on Wednesday banned the use of facial-recognition technology by city departments — including local police — as well as public-facing businesses such as stores, restaurants and hotels.

Portland joins a growing number of places in the United States, such as San Francisco, Oakland, and Boston, that have outlawed city use of the surveillance technology, which is meant to identify a person from an image of their face. But its decision to prevent both local government and businesses from employing the technology appears to be the most sweeping ban yet by an individual city.

Facial recognition technology has grown in prevalence — and controversy — in recent years, popping up everywhere from airport check-in lines to police departments and drugstores. Yet while it could add a sense of security and convenience for businesses that roll it out, the technology has been widely criticized by

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