PORTLAND, Maine — This year, Portland residents will vote on a proposal to add enforcements to the ordinance that bans the use of facial recognition software by police and city agencies.
On Nov. 3, Portland voters will decide if an ordinance would allow citizens to sue the city for illegal surveillance and require the city to suppress illegally obtained evidence, the Portland Press Herald reported. In addition, violations of the ordinance by city employees would be grounds for suspension or termination.
Citizens would receive $100 per violation, or $1,000, whichever is higher, plus lawyer fees.
While there is no formal opposition to the proposed ordinance, the city’s top attorney, Danielle West-Chuhta, submitted concerns with the enforcement provision in a memo before the city council voted unanimously in favor of banning the technology on Aug. 3.
West-Chuhta said that the implementation of suspensions or terminations will require negotiations with unions because it is a change in working conditions.
The ordinance is one of five referenda submitted by Southern Maine Democratic Socialists of America that will be on the November ballot.