Complying with Portland’s Private-Sector Facial Recognition Ban

Blank Rome LLP

The city of Portland, Oregon, made headlines when it became the first jurisdiction in the nation to enact a blanket ban on the use of facial recognition technology (“FRT”) by all private entities physically located within its city limits. While many cities have banned the use of face biometrics by law enforcement and parts of the public sector, the Portland ordinance is noteworthy because it drastically expanded the scope of this new type of regulation to also reach the private sector.

Since that time, the city of Baltimore, Maryland, followed suit with a similar private sector facial biometrics ban of its own. More jurisdictions, including both cities and potentially states as well, are likely to add new laws mirroring those of Portland and Baltimore in the immediate future, especially as facial recognition continues to receive regular negative media coverage highlighting its claimed shortcomings, including potential accuracy and bias problems.

Originally published in the February–March 2022 edition of Pratt’s Privacy & Cybersecurity Law Report (Vol. 8, No. 2).

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