Microsoft stands in the ranks of the protesters by refusing to sell Facial recognition technology to the police
It appears that the use of Facial recognition technology by the US police will face new challenges in light of the ongoing protests in the United States over the killing of a black citizen by suffocation under the knee of a white policeman. After that, IBM and Amazon decided to stop selling the facial recognition products to the police, Here is Microsoft issuing a similar decision.
The Washington Post yesterday, Thursday, quoted Microsoft chief Brad Smith that the company would not sell face recognition technology to police departments until a federal law was passed to regulate the use of the technology.
The news about the facial recognition system came a day after Amazon announced that it had suspended the police from using its face recognition program for a year, stopping a commercial activity for as long as it defended it, at a time when protests against the police brutality against people of color increased.
The death of black man George Floyd – suffocated under the knee of a policeman last month – has fueled fears of unfairly using face recognition technology against protesters.
“When the manufacturers of this surveillance technology refuse to sell it because it is so dangerous, lawmakers will not be able to deny the threats to our rights and freedoms,” Matt Cagle, a lawyer for the American Civil Liberties Union, said.
IBM had justified its decision that law enforcement could misuse the technology, and Amazon has also faced much criticism from artificial intelligence researchers Joy Bulamwani and Deborah Raji, who have shown how using this technology can increase racial and sexual bias.
“We are announcing that we will discontinue for one year the police using face recognition technology from Amazon,” Amazon said on Wednesday.
“We have defended the need for governments to have stronger regulations governing the ethical use of face recognition technology, and in recent days, Congress has seemed ready to meet this challenge,” she added.
And Amazon expressed its hope that “this one-year pause gives Congress enough time to implement the appropriate rules, and we are ready to help if asked to do so.”
It is reported that Amazon has identified exceptions to those who stop, as it said it will continue to allow organizations that fight human trafficking and find missing children to use the technology.
The announcement of three major companies that downsize this technology is remarkable, and it could be a sign that the standards surrounding face recognition are changing.
Now it is likely that attention will be directed to other companies selling technology, as well as to federal lawmakers who have now been given an informal deadline by one of the world’s largest companies.