Port of Seattle bans facial recognition tech by law enforcement; some private use remains permitted
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Port of Seattle bans facial recognition tech by law enforcement; some private use remains permitted

The Port of Seattle Fee voted Tuesday to ban the use of biometric technology for surveillance and safety functions by authorities and law enforcement on all its properties, which embody the downtown port and Seattle-Tacoma Worldwide Airport.

The fastidiously worded ban, which retains the port aligned with federal mandates, doesn’t embody voluntary facial recognition techniques resembling CLEAR which permits Sea-Tac passengers expedited transit via airport safety by the use of biometric scans. CLEAR is a private, paid service primarily utilized in airports and stadiums.

The Port of Seattle is the primary port authority nationally to limit the use of biometric know-how for surveillance.

In an announcement following the vote, Commissioner Sam Cho stated different ports nationally ought to comply with go well with.

“Nobody at a Port facility ought to concern that the Port or a private-sector tenant is secretly capturing their biometrics or monitoring them with biometric know-how,” stated Commissioner Sam Cho. “Ports can and may take an lively position in limiting and shaping the use of facial recognition know-how.

“We hope that different port authorities and governments will contemplate adopting the Port of Seattle mannequin.”

One month in the past, Seattle’s King County became the first county nationally to ban facial recognition know-how by authorities businesses and law enforcement. That county prohibition doesn’t limit particular person cities, residents, or colleges inside King County from utilizing facial recognition know-how, solely official county authorities places of work.

Slightly a couple of 12 months in the past, the Port of Seattle took over a federally mandated facial recognition screening program for passengers departing on worldwide flights from Sea-Tac airport. On the time, Port officers stated that regardless of their resistance to the know-how, they selected to handle it with a purpose to stop the federal authorities from doing so.

The vote on Tuesday tightens each the general public and private use of biometrics tech in areas managed by the port authority by:

The port is following a nationwide pattern that finds each private and public sectors pushing again on the fast unfold of facial recognition know-how. Amazon and Microsoft recently renewed their bans on sales of such technology to home law enforcement. Oakland and San Francisco have banned its use by authorities and law enforcement. New York is considering it.

Portland additionally has banned government-funded facial recognition. Seattle has thought of such a ban.

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