Amongst various ballot initiatives to pass on Tuesday, voters in Portland, Maine decided to ban the use of facial recognition tech by police and city agencies. The Verge reported that private citizens will be entitled to at least $1000 if the police use such technology on them.
The initiative follows a city council vote in August, which put a preliminary ban in place as an ordinance. Today’s vote replaces that ordinance with a stronger measure, which cannot be revoked for at least five years. The ordinance was placed on the ballot earlier this year by the Southern Maine chapter of the Democratic Socialists of America, as part of a raft of other progressive initiatives including a $15 minimum wage and new limits on rent increases. The new measure also adds concrete penalties, entitling private citizens to a minimum of $1,000 in civil fees if they are surveilled in violation of the ordinance. Violations of the ordinance are also established as grounds for terminating or suspending a city employee. Private sector use of the technology is not affected.
Check It Out: Portland, Maine Votes to Ban Facial Recognition