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Like IBM And Amazon, Microsoft Won’t Sell Facial Recognition To The Police

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The President of Microsoft, Brad Smit has announced that the company will not be selling its facial recognition technology to the police. This follows a similar stance on the deployment of the technology by Amazon and IBM.


In an interview at a Washington Post Live event, Smith said Microsoft has already been taking a “principled stand” on the proper use of the technology. Smith said his company doesn’t at the moment sell its facial recognition technology to police departments in the US.  It also won’t be doing so until a regulation “grounded in human rights” is in place.


“We’ve been taking a principled stand in advocating not only for ourselves, but the tech sector and, under the law, a principled stand for the country and the world. Given that, we’ve decided that we will not sell facial recognition technology to police departments in the United States until we have a national law in place, grounded in human rights, that will govern this technology,” he said.

Also read:
– Amazon Bans Police From Using Its Facial Rekognition Platform
– See Why IBM Put An End To Its Facial Technology Development Activities
– Microsoft and Google Disagree On Proposed Ban Of Facial Recognition

Microsoft embeds its facial recognition technology as part of its Azure cloud computing business. The company says developers can “embed facial recognition into [their] apps for a seamless and highly secured user experience”. Uber, for example, uses the technology to “help ensure driver using the app matches the account on file.”


Smith also acknowledges the decisions of both Amazon and IBM and its impact on Microsoft. He, however, says his company needs Congress to regulate the technology so it can be properly used.


“I think It’s important to see what IBM has done. I think it is important to recognize what Amazon has done. It is obviously similar to what we are doing. But if all the responsible companies in the country cede this market to those that are not prepared to take a stand, we won’t necessarily serve the national interest or the lives of the black and African American people of this nation well. We need Congress to act, not just tech companies alone. That is the only way that we will guarantee that we will protect the lives of people,” the president said.


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