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November updates Surveillance Technologies Policy

News Article
Three SCPDX team members sitting at a large table with microphones
Policy public hearing delayed to February 2023; Surveillance Technologies policy refresher; Policy development and public involvement; Next steps and future work

Policy public hearing delayed to February 2023 

The Smart City PDX team has submitted the surveillance technologies policy draft to the City’s revision pipeline. The public hearing was originally scheduled for November 30, but it has been delayed to a new date to be determined in February 2023.

The public hearing is the opportunity for the public to provide testimony. Portlanders can talk to Portland City Commissioners about Surveillance Technologies. Portlanders will be able to provide written testimony using the MapApp site designed for this policy.

The final policy draft is ready for public review.

Surveillance Technologies policy refresher 

This resolution creates foundational guidelines and capacity for managing surveillance technologies. The City’s Privacy and Information Protection Principles serve as guidance to City Bureaus. Bureaus can put in place best practices for the use and selection of surveillance technologies.   

This policy directs BPS’ Smart City PDX program and the Office of Equity and Human Rights to coordinate different policy actions. These directives include creating a citywide inventory and impact assessments of surveillance technologies. 

The Smart City PDX team has presented two City Council work sessions around this policy. The first one last January was on Municipal Privacy Services. The second work session in September was on surveillance technologies and impact assessments.   

The directives in this policy will improve transparency of the use of surveillance technologies. The results of this policy will allow the Community to understand how the City uses technology information. 

Policy development and public involvement 

The proposed policy is the result of a comprehensive public participation process. We received input from a diverse set of communities, representing different demographic groups. Exhibit A compiles all the comments received in this public process. 

The input received was diverse. These are some core aspects of the policy identified through the outreach process:   

  • More transparency and accountability of surveillance technologies.    

  • Creation of transparent processes to assess impacts of surveillance technologies.   

  • Meaningful public participation in the decision making for using surveillance technologies. Hearing particularly from those affected by the use of technology.   

  • Improved mechanisms that reduce harm of emergent information technologies like artificial intelligence.   

Next steps and future work 

The Smart City PDX team and the Office of Equity of Human Rights are coordinating a policy informational session on November 16, 2022.

The policy new scheduled date for public hearing at Portland City Council will be updated in the Smart City PDX site. This date may change depending on City Council priorities. 

Future work derived from this policy will include the collective exploration for accountability and oversight strategies. The Smart City PDX team is looking forward to working with local networks and organizations next year. 

The Smart City PDX team will work with the Portland and beyond community in 2023. Our main goals include meaningful community involvement and increased transparency in 2023. Help us to make these goals a reality! 

Read the policy and additional materials 

If passed, this policy will create the initial City infrastructure on the use of surveillance technologies. View the proposed policy and other materials.