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September 2022 Surveillance Technologies Policy updates

News Article
View of downtown Portland with trees in the foreground on each side and Mount Hood near the center in the background.
The Smart City PDX team is releasing a draft version of the surveillance technologies policy. This is the result of more than a year of participatory work with the community. This document is being reviewed for comments by City agencies. We are expecting to have a public hearing later this year.
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The Smart City PDX team is releasing a draft version of the surveillance technologies policy.  This is the result of more than a year of participatory work with the community.  This document is being reviewed for comments by City agencies. We are expecting to have a public hearing later this year.

 A summary of the community events and feedback is in this presentation and a report of the feedback is in this blog post.

First, we would like to invite the Portland community to listen to the Council work session. This work session will be on surveillance technologies and risk and impact assessments on September 27 from 9:30 to 11 AM.  

This work session will go over the importance of identifying risks and social impacts of technology. Technology can allow effective government. But we need to understand their impacts and risks. This awareness can contribute to better transparency, accountability, and public trust. 

The next update is the release of the draft of the surveillance technologies policy. This document  comes from public participation and community engagement. The coordinating team classified and reviewed the public feedback and legal requirements. Finally, we simplified the language based on a strategic and effective policy implementation. 

This policy draft recognizes the impacts of technology and information solutions in Portlanders. This includes the need to develop local capacity and infrastructure  and reduce negative impacts.

The draft includes five directives:

  • Directs City bureaus to start a citywide inventory of surveillance technologies. 

  • Directs the Smart City PDX program and other bureaus to implement privacy impact assessments when acquiring or planning to use surveillance technologies.

  • Directs the Smart City PDX program and other bureaus to work on a proposal for a more permanent privacy and information protection program.

  • Directs the Office of Equity and Human Rights and the Smart City PDX program to design accountability and oversight strategies and procedures for the use and acquisition of surveillance technologies in public and equitable processes.

  • And, finally, it directs the Smart City PDX program to start assessing impacts of automated decision systems, aka algorithms.

You can download the draft of the policy by clicking on the following link:

Download the Surveillance Technologies September 2022 policy draft

Join us and listen to the City Council work session on September 27, 2022.