Portland Oregon Council Passes Business Face Recognition Ban
Face Recognition empowers investigations of all kinds, as well as enhancing general analytics solutions like this one.
Portland Oregon City Council in the U.S. has passed legislation that bans use of face recognition technology, not only by the city, but by private business and corporations. The move has major ramifications for use of the technology, not only in the U.S. but around the world.
The ban leans on a pair on ordinances: The first prohibits use of face recognition solutions in private locations accessible to the public – that includes any public facing business – banks, restaurants, cinemas, retail outlets, hotels and many more.
More impactful still is the second ordinance, which gives individual citizens the power to sue organisations $US1000 per day, or for unspecified damages if they be greater, for unlawful use of face 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,” Jann Carson, interim executive director of the ACLU of Oregon.
According to Carson, face recognition is harmful “especially to black people, indigenous people, people of colour, and women, who frequently are misidentified by the technology”.
Carson’s assertions are correct in relation to subjects with darker skin tones, a finding highlighted by a NIST report earlier in the year. The NIST report argued the issues relate to the fact the technology was created using white European faces, but this discounts that much face recognition technology is coming from Chinese makers. Nor did the report appear to take into account challenges of reflectance, which might increase error rates and may be eliminated with direct lighting.
From the point of view of integrators and end users, video analytics/VCA offers considerable functionality enhancements, from people counting to line crossing, objects left and a great deal in between. Face recognition is also effective for hands-free access control. Losing these capabilities will slice into future efficiencies of CCTV solutions, as well as disempowering smart search functions.