Ban Facial Recognition Technology in Portland, Oregon

Ban Facial Recognition Technology in Portland, Oregon

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C. Crespin started this petition to Mayor Ted Wheeler and

Portland City Council will vote later this month on two bills that will ban the use of facial recognition, one bill aimed at law enforcement use and one bill aimed at private companies. The bill aimed at law enforcement use has a good chance of passing but private companies like Amazon have come out against the other bill. One Portland, Oregon area convenience store chain ‘Jacksons’ already uses facial recognition to vet patrons during nighttime hours.

Face surveillance is the most dangerous of the many new technologies available to law enforcement. And while face surveillance is a danger to all people, no matter the color of their skin, the technology is a particularly serious threat to Black people in at least three fundamental ways.

First, the technology itself can be racially biased. Groundbreaking research conducted by Black scholars Joy Buolamwini, Deb Raji, and Timnit Gebru snapped our collective attention to the fact that yes, algorithms can be racist. Buolamwini and Gebru’s 2018 research concluded that some facial analysis algorithms misclassified Black women nearly 35 percent of the time, while nearly always getting it right for white men. A subsequent study by Buolamwini and Raji at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology confirmed these problems persisted with Amazon’s software.

Second, police in many jurisdictions in the U.S. use mugshot databases to identify people with face recognition algorithms. But using mugshot databases for face recognition recycles racial bias from the past, supercharging that bias with 21st century surveillance technology.

Third, even if the algorithms are equally accurate across race, and even if the government uses driver’s license databases instead of mugshot systems, government use of face surveillance technology will still be racist. That’s because the entire system is racist.

We are at a pivotal moment in our nation’s history. We must listen to the voices of the protesters in the streets and act now to make systemic change. Banning face surveillance won’t stop systemic racism, but it will take one powerful tool away from institutions that are responsible for upholding it.

Sign the petition to all city council members and demand the ban the use of facial recognition technology for BOTH law enforcement and private industries. 

Sources:
https://www.aclu.org/news/privacy-technology/how-is-face-recognition-surveillance-technology-racist/

https://www.oregonlive.com/portland/2020/02/portland-considering-strictest-ban-on-facial-recognition-technology-in-the-us.html


#banfacialrecognition #nobigbrother #defundthepolice #blacklivesmatter

0 have signed. Let’s get to 200!
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