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Jan 21, 2020
Portland Facial Recognition Ban? (Draft Ordinances)
Northwest Academy 1208 SW 13th Ave, 2nd floor Portland, OR

Please note that this meeting is on the 3rd TUESDAY this month because of the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday on Monday! Doors open at 6:00 PM and will be monitored for access until 6:20 PM

Facial recognition technologies are now being implemented around the world. While some uses of facial recognition, like unlocking your phone, may be convenient, others allow your facial information to be collected, used, and shared, without your knowledge or consent. Both governments and companies are now getting in on the act, often with little to no oversight or rules in place. In addition to these transparency issues, facial recognition software programs have varying degrees of accuracy and have been shown to be less reliable when analyzing people of color, women, and children.

Because of this facial recognition free-for-all, and due to the fact that our faces cannot easily be changed, some cities, including San Francisco, Oakland, and Somerville, MA, have banned government agencies from using facial recognition. Portland city officials are also considering a facial recognition ban and are exploring going a step further in order to address use by private entities as well.

Smart City PDX is preparing two separate ordinances — one for public agencies and another for private entities — and both are tentatively scheduled for City Council hearings this spring. You can view a draft of the public version at

Hector Dominguez, the Open Data Coordinator at Smart City PDX, within Portland's Bureau of Planning and Sustainability, is working with other city officials to develop the proposed facial recognition ban legislation. At the meeting, he’ll share with us the details of what's currently in the ordinance drafts and will also explain how these rules, if passed, will work.

Bring your questions and join the discussion! We'll have snacks, and there will be an opportunity for networking afterwards. We hope to see you there!

Schedule: 6:00 PM: Doors 6:10 PM: Introductions 6:15 PM: Presentation

Speaker bio:

Hector Dominguez is the Open Data Coordinator at the City of Portland. In 2009, Portland became the first city in the United States to adopt an Open Data Resolution to encourage the expansion of the technological community by promoting open data and partnerships between City government and the public, private and nonprofit sectors, academia, and labor.

By attending this TA3M meeting, you agree to follow our Code of Conduct:

{short} Code of Conduct Portland's Techno-Activism 3rd Mondays is dedicated to providing an informative and positive experience for everyone who participates in or supports our community, regardless of gender, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, ability, physical appearance, body size, race, ethnicity, age, religion, socioeconomic status, caste, or creed.

Our events are intended to educate and share information related to technology and activism, and anyone who is there for this purpose is welcome. Because we value the safety and security of our members and strive to have an inclusive community, we do not tolerate harassment of members or event participants in any form.

Audio and video recording are not permitted at meetings without prior approval.

Our Code of Conduct ( applies to all events run by Portland's TA3M. Please report any incidents to the event organizer.

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: