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Portland votes to ban facial recognition ahead of referendum

August 5, 2020 GMT

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) — A Maine city council has voted unanimously to ban the use of facial recognition technology.

Portland City councilors voted Monday in favor of the proposal submitted by City Councilor Pious Ali in November, the council did not explain why now was the time to move the item, the Portland Press Herald reported. The ordinance will take effect in 30 days.

Danielle West-Chuhta, the city’s top attorney, said that if voters approve the referendum in November to ban facial recognition it would replace the ordinance passed by the city council and can not be touched for five years.

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Ali amended his proposal to fall in line with the ban on November’s ballot, however, councilors removed an enforcement provision against city employees, citing collect bargaining concerns.