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Dec 13, 2021
Surveillance technologies policy development codesign event

Join us to discuss and contribute to the development of the City’s surveillance technologies policy by exploring what surveillance technologies are and how Portlanders can have better control of technology being deployed and used in the city.

In this codesign event, attendees will have the opportunity to learn about existing city policies on privacy and digital justice, and contribute to the city surveillance policy development and outcomes that are going to inform the policy.

Listen to an introductory presentation from City staff to learn about surveillance technologies policy development and how other communities define Community Control over Surveillance Technologies (CCOS).

Join other participants in breakout rooms to explore:

  • An updated definition of surveillance technologies considering emergent tech and impacts in the Portland community

  • What Community Control over Surveillance Technologies (CCOS) governance could look like in Portland

  • Listen to other participants and share your experiences for how surveillance technologies impact residents and visitors in Portland

This event is open to all Portlanders and is organized in collaboration with Smart City PDX, the City of Portland's Office of Equity and Human Rights, PDX Privacy, and Cascadia Partners.

Background on City of Portland privacy and surveillance policy development:

The City of Portland is working on developing a comprehensive surveillance/ privacy policy. This policy will create the transparency and accountability processes for use and purchase of surveillance technologies. It will also define roles and responsibilities for decision making, oversight, and implementing aspects of this policy.

The Smart City PDX program and the Office of Equity and Human Rights are coordinating policy development actions, including policy drafting, City of Portland agencies coordination, and public engagement.

These policies need to be informed by those most impacted. Negative impacts of surveillance technologies are disproportionately experienced by Black, Indigenous, and People of Color communities. Abuses derived from surveillance technologies can endanger people’s freedoms, civil rights, and liberties.

Existing Portland policies define surveillance technologies as any software, electronic device, system utilizing an electronic device, or similar used, designed, or primarily intended to collect, retain, analyze, process, or share audio, electronic, visual, location, thermal, olfactory, biometric, or similar information specifically associated with, or capable of being associated with, any individual or group.

This definition covers certain surveillance technologies; however, emergent technologies, including artificial intelligence and predictive inference algorithms, are not necessarily covered by this definition. The City is exploring an updated definition of surveillance technologies that includes these new and emergent information technologies.

Read more about the policy roadmap and engagement plan here: