Portland plans to propose the strictest facial recognition ban in the country – Portland, Oregon, aims to ban the use of the controversial technology not only by city government, but also by private companies.

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Meanwhile in China………


The dream of the 90s is alive in Portland.


Technically any phone with face-unlock is facial recognition


As someone deeply concerned about individual privacy and government surveilance I applaud enacting legislation. As a technologist in favor of empowering individuals I’m worried that some of these laws could unintentionally limit the development of useful technologies. Also, laws targeting fast-moving emerging tech have a way of getting frozen in time to the extent they become useless or even negative. For example, the “pin register” laws drafted around analog phone tapping in the 70s now being used to justify massive metadata capture from all digital IP-based networks. At the moment, optical facial recognition technology is error prone but this tech is going to evolve rapidly and dramatically. In a few years, spatial (vs optical) biometric technologies will be much more accurate and they won’t have these issues with poor lighting or skin color. These laws need to carefully block the government from using any “mass identity detection” (not just optical facial recognition) without first having a particularized warrant related to a specifically identified felony crime (no fishing expeditions). They should also block govt outsourcing data collection to private entities to skirt the law. However, I’d still like to empower individuals to leverage identity detection on their own property if they want to. Things can change in unexpected ways and this tech could eventually become useful in *increasing* the power of individuals to protect their property and rights.


The devil is in the details. This law will have to be carefully crafted otherwise any iPhone with Face ID will be illegal. Furthermore, these companies have a pretty strong first amendment argument. If they’re capturing data where it’s legal to take photos, like in any public thoroughway or on their own private property, they are within their rights, just as anyone in /r/photography can tell you. This is a tricky one. I agree something needs to be done, but I’d like to see nuanced, balanced legislation on a national level, crafted carefully with input from all sides of the issue. Hopefully this isn’t one city council member just heavyhandedly throwing this together, or it WILL be defeated in court and the precedent will deal a heavy blow to the concept of regulating facial recognition.