Portland City Council approves ban on use of facial recognition technology

Published: Aug. 5, 2020 at 6:53 AM EDT
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PORTLAND, Maine (WMTW) - The Portland City Council on Monday night approved a ban on the use of facial recognition technology by city workers, including the police department.

The vote made Maine the third state in the country with a municipality with a ban of this type, according to the ACLU of Maine.

Councilors approved an amended version of the ordinance, which removed a provision that would have allowed people to sue the city if the ordinance was violated.

City Councilor Pious Ali proposed the ordinance last year, but the final vote was delayed until Monday night.

“We have many different groups of people who live here in Portland. This makes them feel that this is a welcoming place where everyone is safe to demonstrate on the streets and that our government will not take their information without them knowing,” Ali said.

The ordinance goes into effect in 30 days.

Portland voters will also vote on facial recognition ballot initiative in November that would restore the ability to sue if the ordinance is violated.

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