Sunday, October 24, 2021


GOP lawmakers in Montana want to investigate the 2020 election - some are concerned this could weaken trust in voting; record rainfall in San Francisco Bay area; concerns about students and staff coping with the pandemic.


Obama cautions against tribalism; House Democrats want immigration relief to be included in reconciliation; and will Trump face a subpoena from the January 6th committee?


An all-Black Oklahoma town joins big cities in seeking reparations; a Kentucky vaccination skeptic does a 180; telehealth proves invaluable during pandemic; and spooky destinations lure tourists at Halloween.

Portland's Facial-Recognition Ban Seen as Model for U.S.


Thursday, September 9, 2021   

PORTLAND, Ore. -- A year ago today, Portland passed one of the most sweeping bans of facial-recognition technology in the country.

The ban includes public and private uses and was pushed because of the technology's discrimination against people of color, women and other groups, which has been documented across the country.

Lia Holland, campaigns and communications director at the digital rights group Fight for the Future and a Portland resident, said the resolution inspired other parts of the country.

"Portland's ban on both public and private use of facial-recognition technology has served as the gold standard for organizers and activists over the past year as they've pushed for similar legislation in their own cities, states and on the national scale," Holland asserted.

Holland pointed out a resolution in Congress borrows language from Portland's ban. The prohibition went into effect in January.

Chris Bushick, executive director of PDX Privacy, said it is hard to tell how effective the ban has been because of the pandemic, which has kept many people inside.

She noted no city bureaus were using the technology as of an assessment in April, and added on the private side, someone has to take legal action in order to prove facial recognition is being used.

"So instead we have to look for violations that did happen and that would mean lawsuits or other complaints," Bushick outlined. "So far, we haven't seen any of those in Portland yet."

She pointed out it does not necessarily mean there has not been any use of the technology, just that no lawsuits have been filed.

Holland argued there still are gaps in the ban, and emphasized it is possible Portland Public Schools, which were not affected by the ban, were sold a temperature-scanning technology used to discriminate against a girl in Michigan.

"This technology is the exact same technology that misidentified a 14-year-old Black girl at a roller rink outside of Detroit," Holland reported. "And had her kicked out onto the street because they thought she was someone else, because the computer said so."

A study from 2020 found the algorithm driving facial-recognition technology is least accurate for Black women between the ages of 18 and 30.

get more stories like this via email
California has collected more than 600 tons of unwanted prescription drugs since the Take-Back Day program began in 2010. (Dodgerton Skillhause/Morguefile)

Health and Wellness

SACRAMENTO, Calif. - Saturday is National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day, when the Drug Enforcement Administration encourages everyone to clean out …

Health and Wellness

BALTIMORE - This month marks the four-year anniversary of the #MeToo movement, and an art project aims to help incarcerated survivors heal by telling …

Social Issues

OGDEN, Utah - Utah is one of only a handful of states that taxes food, but one state legislator says taxing groceries should become a thing of the …

In a new poll, 71% of all registered voters support strengthening rules to reduce oil and gas methane pollution, including 73% of Independents and 50% of Republicans. (Adobe Stock)


CASPER, Wyo. - A strong majority of voters across party lines say they want national rules similar to those passed in Wyoming to reduce methane …

Health and Wellness

ARLINGTON, Va. - Although COVID-19 rates have gone down, the virus continues to hit the Hispanic community especially hard. Now, a new campaign aims …

Child-care advocates say if North Dakota doesn't boost funding for the system, more families might pull out of the workforce because of access issues. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

BISMARCK, N.D. - A portion of American Rescue Plan funding sent to North Dakota has yet to be divvied up. Groups that want to improve the child-care …

Social Issues

PITTSBURGH - As businesses across the country deal with a massive labor shortage, Pennsylvania aims to entice people back to the workplace by …


ALBANY, N.Y. - Environmental groups want Gov. Kathy Hochul to sign a bill that mandates monitoring the state's drinking water for "emerging …


Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021