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Surveillance Technologies Community Forum

  • Eliot Center - Buchan Building 1226 Southwest Salmon Street Portland, OR, 97205 United States (map)

The City of Portland’s Smart City PDX program and the Portland Office of Equity and Human Rights invite you to participate in a forum to discuss the future of surveillance technologies in the city and their connection to all of the different communities in our city. We encourage participants to listen first, bring their own truth and experiences, understand the world views of others, and fall back to collaboration. 

As the City of Portland considers implementing new policies to regulate and manage emergent technologies, the City is building the foundation for an inclusive process where different voices can be heard and taken into account throughout the policy development timeline. Portland’s Data Privacy and Information Protection Principles were unanimously approved by the Portland City Council June 2019 and were drafted with help from internal and external stakeholders. By following anti-discriminatory practices, these principles are the first step of a long journey to help the City become better steward of public data and technology, with the ultimate goal of making Portland a safe and welcoming space for everyone, regardless of identity.

The next step in this journey is a proposed Facial Recognition policy, in an effort to set guidelines towards a more comprehensive surveillance technologies framework that is mindful of equity and accessibility. The City is considering effectively banning facial recognition technologies and data and services derived from them; however, it is important to do the proper due diligence first: Assessing impacts, learning from experts, community members, advocacy groups, local businesses and entrepreneurs involved with this technology. 

The forum will be based on a participant-driven (known as unconference) format to allow for horizontal conversations and more balanced power relationships among participants. Specific topics will be selected by participants and then groups will discuss them in 45-minute sessions.

This forum is by invitation only. To participate, please send us an email to to request to be included and we will send you an invitation. Please include your name, organization and the main reason of why you are interested in this conversation.

This initial event is trying to bring voices representing different stakeholders in the city from public, non-profit, academia, entrepreneurs, and private sectors, and our intention is to bring a balanced set of voices to the discussion tables. Open public events are being planned for the next months, please reach out to us if you or your organization is interested in one.

we ask all participants to have conversations that follow the guidelines of the Chatham House rule, to encourage open discussion and information sharing. 

How to confirm your attendance: You will receive a confirmation email after you have completed your registration. Please send us an email to for any questions, suggestions or requests you may have for this event.

The City of Portland is committed to providing meaningful access. For accommodations, modifications, translation, interpretation or other services, please call 503-823-7700 or use City TTY 503-823-6868.

Later Event: September 10
Global Tech Jam