Portland officials first revealed that they worked on the bill in November 2019, and that if the bill passes, it will be the first to ban private companies from using face recognition systems. Legislation other cities that had previously been approved was not as strict: San Francisco’s ban, for example, applies only to city councils.
A report by Motherboard says Amazon spent $ 24,000 lobbying council members after that in an attempt to convince them to soften the language of the bill. As the publication explains, the e-commerce giant is most likely concerned that Portland̵
At a council meeting, Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler said he hopes the city’s legislation will inspire other local authorities to enact stricter face recognition laws. Lia Holland from Fight for the Future agreed and said in a statement:
“Now cities across the country must look at Portland and pass their own bans. And Congress should act to get a ban at the federal level. We have speed, and we have the will to repel this dangerous and discriminatory technology. “
Back in June, a group of Democratic senators and House representatives introduced a bill that would “ban biometric surveillance by the federal government without explicit statutory authorization” after a man was arrested for a faulty biometric fight. It would prevent state and local law enforcement across the United States from using face recognition and other similar systems.