Come January, private companies in Portland, Oregon will no longer be allowed to use facial-recognition technology in stores, parks, and other places of public accommodation, under an ordinance
passed unanimously by city lawmakers this week.
The measure also immediately prohibits the police from using facial-recognition technology — although there are some exceptions, including one
that would allow police to use the technology to unlock a phone.
Other cities — including Boston and San Francisco — have banned the police from using the controversial technology. But
Portland is the first to also prohibit private businesses from deploying it.
Currently, some retailers use facial recognition to identify possible
shoplifters, while airlines used the technology to identify passengers at check-ins. But the full extent of its use by businesses remains unknown.
Privacy advocates are cheering Portland’s
“Every city council should follow suit!,” Fight for the Future’s Evan Greer tweeted Wednesday