San Francisco, Nov 4 (IANS) The US city of Portland, Maine on Wednesday voted to ban the use of facial recognition by police and city officials.
The Bangor Daily News reported that voters passed a ballot initiative “bolstering a ban on facial recognition by city agencies”.
The initiative follows a city council vote in August, which put a preliminary ban in place as an ordinance.
The citizens are entitled to a minimum of $1,000 in fines if they are subjected to a facial recognition scan by police.
Portland joins Boston, San Francisco; Portland, Oregon and the city of Oakland in Northern California in banning the use of facial recognition technology by the authorities.
Oakland is the second Bay Area city to forbid the controversial technology after San Francisco adopted a similar ban in May 2019.
The ordinance called facial recognition technology is “an automated or semi-automated process that assists in identifying or verifying an individual based on an individual’s face”.
However, some other organizations supporting the technology have argued that the ban would hurt the law-enforcing capabilities of police officers when they are called for help.
Amazon has also announced to apply the brakes on its facial recognition technology for police for one year, in the wake of potential misuse of the technology by the cops as racial protests gain steam in the US after the death of African-American George Floyd.