The Security Industry Association (SIA) has stated that the decision by the City Council of Portland, Oregon, to ban facial recognition technology use by businesses in places of public accommodation, starting January 2021 and to prohibit all city government use of facial recognition technologies are shortsighted decisions that do not consider effective and beneficial applications of facial recognition.

Ban on facial recognition tech use

The Portland ordinance prohibiting private entities’ use of facial recognition technologies affects any business providing goods, services or other accommodations to the public and will impact businesses’ ability to protect workers, customers, facilities and property, since it effectively targets business use of security systems.

Turning back the clock on technological advancement through a complete ban on private-sector use of technology that clearly keeps our fellow citizens safe is not a rational answer during this period of social unrest in Portland,” stated Security Industry Association (SIA) Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Don Erickson.

Educating masses on facial recognition technology

It is hardly a model approach to policymaking that any government should adopt"

He adds, “It is hardly a model approach to policymaking that any government should adopt. Let’s act together now to thoughtfully educate the public about the legal and effective use of facial recognition technology, while at the same time, being mindful of legitimate questions raised about the impact of this technology on all stakeholders, including communities of color.

Don further stated, “We continue to invite local leaders across the country to work with us to develop more sensible approaches to the use of facial recognition.

SIA’s Senior Director of Government Relations, Jake Parker, provided his testimony at the Portland City Council hearing on Thursday, Sept. 9, 2020, in opposition to these widespread prohibitions on the use of facial recognition technology.

National Institute of Standards and Technology research paper

As part of the council’s discussion, Portland City Councilwoman, Jo Ann Hardesty stated prior to the vote that the council would revisit the ban when there is technology that is not racially biased and is tested by independent third parties.

SIA notes that such technology is available in the current scenario, and in July, SIA authored and submitted a letter to Portland’s Mayor and City Council, which noted the National Institute of Standards and Technology’s research paper that documented that high-performing algorithms perform equally well across different demographics.

The letter stated, “The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), the world’s renowned and foremost authority on this technology, found last year that the highest performing technologies had ‘undetectable’ differences across demographic groups, with accuracy rates well above 99% and undetectable false positive differences across demographics, even when tested against galleries of up to 12 million images.

Lawful, ethical and nondiscriminatory use of facial recognition

SIA believes all technology products, including facial recognition, must only be used for lawful purposes

SIA believes all technology products, including facial recognition, must only be used for purposes that are lawful, ethical and nondiscriminatory, and recently released and committed to a series of principles to be used in the development and deployment of facial recognition, ensuring the technology is used in a transparent and nondiscriminatory way that implements privacy protections and human oversight into its use.

SIA welcomes working with cities and government on future facial recognition ordinances and policies to ensure decisions are based upon facts and a complete understanding of current technologies and that such policies consider widespread public support for the benefits of this technology.

SIA protects and advances its members’ interests by advocating pro-industry policies and legislation at the federal and state levels, creating open industry standards that enable integration, advancing industry professionalism through education and training, opening global market opportunities and collaborating with other like-minded organizations.

Share with LinkedIn Share with Twitter Share with Facebook Share with Facebook
Download PDF version Download PDF version

In case you missed it

How Can Remote or Internet-Based Training Benefit Security?
How Can Remote or Internet-Based Training Benefit Security?

Internet-based training has long provided a less-expensive alternative to in-person classroom time. There are even universities that provide most or all of their instruction online. However, the COVID-19 pandemic has expanded acceptance even more and increased usage of internet-based meeting and learning tools. We asked this week’s Expert Panel Roundtable: How can remote or Internet-based training benefit the physical security market?

How is AI Changing the Security Market?
How is AI Changing the Security Market?

Artificial intelligence is more than just the latest buzzword in the security marketplace. In some cases, smarter computer technologies like AI and machine learning (ML) are helping to transform how security operates. AI is also expanding the industry’s use cases, sometimes even beyond the historic province of the security realm. It turns out that AI is also a timely tool in the middle of a global pandemic. We asked this week’s Expert Panel Roundtable: How is artificial intelligence (AI) changing the security market?

Moving to Sophisticated Electric Locking
Moving to Sophisticated Electric Locking

In part one of this feature, we introduced the shotbolt – a solenoid actuator – as the workhorse at the heart of most straightforward electric locking systems. Shotbolts remain at the core of most sophisticated electric locking solutions as well. But they are supplemented by materials and technologies that provide characteristics suited to specialist security applications. Here we look at some more demanding electric locking applications and contemporary solutions. Preventing forced entry Where the end of the shotbolt is accessible, the electric holding force can be overcome by physical force. That’s why anti-jacking technology is now a frequent feature of contemporary electric solenoid lock actuators. Anti-jacking, dead-locking or ‘bloc’ technology (the latter patented by MSL) is inherent to the way the locking assembly is designed to suit the requirements of the end application. The patented bloc anti-jacking system is highly effective and incorporated into many MSL shotbolts deployed in electric locking applications. The bloc technology uses a ring of steel balls in a shaped internal housing to physically jam the actuated bolt in place. A range of marine locks is widely used on Superyachts for rapid lockdown security from the helm Real life applications for MSL anti-jacking and bloc-equipped shotbolts include installation in the back of supermarket trucks to secure the roller shutter. Once locked from the cab, or remotely using radio technology, these shutters cannot be forced open by anyone with ‘undesirable intentions’ armed with a jemmy. A range of marine locks is widely used on Superyachts for rapid lockdown security from the helm. While anti-jacking features are an option on these shotbolts, consideration was given to the construction materials to provide durability in saltwater environments. Marine locks use corrosion-proof stainless steel, which is also highly polished to be aesthetically pleasing to suit the prestigious nature of the vessel while hiding the innovative technology that prevents the lock being forced open by intruders who may board the craft. Rotary and proportional solenoids sound unlikely but are now common A less obvious example of integrated technology to prevent forced override is a floor lock. This lock assembly is mounted beneath the floor with round-top stainless-steel bolts that project upwards when actuated. They are designed to lock all-glass doors and are arguably the only discreet and attractive way to lock glass doors securely. In a prestigious installation at a historic entranceway in Edinburgh University, the floor locks are remotely controlled from an emergency button behind the reception desk. They act on twin sets of glass doors to quickly allow the doors to close and then lock them closed with another set of subfloor locks. No amount of stamping on or hitting the 15mm protruding bolt pin will cause it to yield, thus preventing intruders from entering. Or leaving! Explosion proofing In many environments, electric locking technology must be ATEX certified to mitigate any risk of explosion. For example, remote electric locking is used widely on oil and gas rigs for stringent access control, general security and for emergency shutter release in the event of fire. It’s also used across many industrial sectors where explosion risks exist, including flour milling, In many environments, electric locking technology must be ATEX certified to mitigate any risk of explosionpowder producers, paint manufacture, etc. This adds a new dimension to the actuator design, demanding not only intrinsically safe electrical circuits and solenoid coils, but the careful selection of metals and materials to eliminate the chance of sparks arising from moving parts. Resilience under pressure The technology boundaries of solenoids are always being pushed. Rotary and proportional solenoids sound unlikely but are now common. More recently, while not directly related to security in the traditional sense, proportional solenoid valves for accurately controlling the flow of hydrogen and gases now exist. Magnet Schultz has an extensive and somewhat innovative new range of hydrogen valves proving popular in the energy and automotive sectors (Fig. 2-6). There’s a different kind of security risk at play here when dealing with hydrogen under pressures of up to 1050 bar. Bio security Less an issue for the complexity of locking technology but more an imperative for the effectiveness of an electric lock is the frequent use of shotbolts in the bio research sector. Remote electric locking is commonplace in many bioreactor applications. Cultures being grown inside bioreactors can be undesirable agents, making 100% dependable locking of bioreactor lids essential to prevent untimely access or the unwanted escape of organisms. Again, that has proven to be topical in the current climate of recurring coronavirus outbreaks around the world. More than meets the eye In part one, I started by headlining that there’s more to electric lock actuation in all manner of security applications than meets the eye and pointed out that while electric locking is among the most ubiquitous examples of everyday security, the complexity often involved and the advanced technologies deployed typically go unnoticed.Integrating the simplest linear actuator into a complex system is rarely simple For end users, that’s a very good thing. But for electro-mechanical engineers designing a system, it can present a challenge. Our goal at Magnet Schultz is to provide a clearer insight into today’s electric locking industry sector and the wide range of locking solutions available – from the straightforward to the specialized and sophisticated. Integrating the simplest linear actuator into a complex system is rarely simple. There’s no substitute for expertise and experience, and that’s what MSL offers as an outsource service to designers. One benefit afforded to those of us in the actuator industry with a very narrow but intense focus is not just understanding the advantages and limitations of solenoid technology, but the visibility of, and participation in, emerging developments in the science of electric locking. Knowing what’s achievable is invaluable in every project development phase.