Facial recognition may also serve, but it is certainly not generally appreciated and accepted by the population. The idea of having a Big Brother watching us worries us, even if in the vast majority of cases the cameras that recognize people by crossing videos, algorithms and databases are used to guarantee the safety of a city or a business.
The scandal of the arrest in the US of an innocent person is still fresh, "recognized" during a robbery in a watch shop but not corresponding to the real perpetrator of the theft. After all, there are many studies that show how the technology for face recognition is still unreliable, as also admitted by an English study in which the data collected by LFR technology in the central Oxford Circus were analyzed.
Well, Portland is most likely the first city in the world facial recognition-free: the decision was taken by the local administration, which voted to ban all forms and methods of facial recognition in the municipal area. And the big news is that this methodology cannot be used either by the public (therefore not even by the police), or by individuals, such as citizens, hotels and shops. Not only that: from now on, it cannot be applied even at the airport. Delta, for example, uses it to check passengers on boarding, but in Portland will have to review its procedures.
This is not the first city ever to ban technology, but it is still the strictest ban ever decided. The cameras will be turned off starting from January 2021, under penalty of steep fines of up to $ 1,000 per day for each day of violation: the Oregon City Council unanimously decided. At the basis of the choice is the desire not to discriminate, especially in a moment of social tension such as the one currently experiencing in the United States. It has been proven that algorithms and artificial intelligence provide more or less reliable data depending on the skin color of video-recorded people. Furthermore – not to forget – a technology that still returns high percentages of false positives cannot be considered reliable.
It is the first example in the whole nation, perhaps in the world. It's a truly historic day for the city of Portland,
admitted the mayor, who hopes that the same initiative will be adopted by other local entities.