Media Contact

September 9, 2020

PORTLAND, Ore.— Today the Portland City Council unanimously voted to ban the government and corporate use of facial recognition technology. This is the first ever ban on corporate use of face surveillance in the United States.

The ACLU of Oregon supported both ordinances, which were championed by Commissioner Jo Ann Hardesty, and testified in January 2020 before the Portland City Council about the dangers of this surveillance technology.

Jann Carson, interim executive director of the ACLU of Oregon, had the following comment:

“Portland Police for months have been gassing, beating, and violently attacking the people of Portland to suppress their demands for racial justice. With today’s vote, the community made clear we hold the real power in this city. We will not let Portland turn into a surveillance state where police and corporations alike can track us wherever we go.

“Face surveillance is an invasive threat to our privacy, especially to Black people, Indigenous people, people of color, and women, who frequently are misidentified by the technology. We appreciate Commissioner Hardesty’s leadership and applaud Portland for banning the government and corporate use of facial recognition technology.

“We hope the passage of this landmark legislation in Portland will spur efforts to enact statewide legislation that protects all Oregonians from the broad range of ways that our biometric information is collected, stored, sold, and used without our permission.”