Microsoft states it will not offer its facial acknowledgment tech to cops

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Angela Lang/CNET

Microsoft will not offer its facial acknowledgment software application to cops and police up until federal guidelines for facial acknowledgment tech remain in location, business president Brad Smith informed The Washington Post throughout an interview Thursday early morning. The relocation follows across the country demonstrations versus cops cruelty and comparable actions by Amazon and IBM relating to facial acknowledgment systems.

“The bottom line for us is to protect the human rights of people as this technology is deployed,” Smith informed the Post, including that the business hasn’t formerly offered the innovation to police.

Consumer supporters and civil liberties groups have actually long alerted about facial acknowledgment innovation, especially with regard to the cops. Two years back, the ACLU started contacting tech giants to stop offering the innovation to federal governments and police, arguing that it positioned a prospective hazard, particularly to immigrants and individuals of color. Last year, Microsoft silently removed an enormous facial acknowledgment database, including more than 10 million images chosen from the web, after the database was connected to the Chinese federal government’s crackdown on ethnic Muslims.

“When even the makers of face recognition refuse to sell this surveillance technology because it is so dangerous, lawmakers can no longer deny the threats to our rights and liberties,” stated Matt Cagle, an innovation and civil liberties lawyer with the ACLU of Northern California.

“For the past two years we have been focused on developing and implementing strong principles that govern our use of facial recognition, and we’ve been calling for strong government regulation,” a Microsoft representative informed CNET. “We do not sell our facial recognition technology to US police departments today, and until there is a strong national law grounded in human rights, we will not sell this technology to police departments.”

That may not suffice to win over the ACLU, which want to see business like Microsoft keep their facial acknowledgment tech blocked to police forever.

“Congress and legislatures nationwide must swiftly stop law enforcement use of face recognition, and companies like Microsoft should work with the civil rights community – not against it – to make that happen,” Cagle stated. “This includes halting its current efforts to advance legislation that would legitimize and expand the police use of facial recognition in multiple states nationwide.”

 “We’re committed to working with others to advocate for the legislation that is needed,” the Microsoft representative states. “We’re likewise taking this chance to additional enhance our evaluation procedures for any consumer looking for to utilize this innovation at scale.

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