After IBM and Amazon, now Microsoft bans Facial Recognition tech sales to Police

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Microsoft bans police from selling its facial recognition tech until there is national regulation of the technology

After the Tech giants IBM and Amazon now Microsoft has also decided to ban cops from its facial recognition technology. Microsoft’s president and chief counsel, Brad Smith, announced the decision and called on Congress to regulate the technology during a Washington Post video event on Thursday.

The trio of tech giants is stepping back from law-enforcement use of systems that have faced criticism for incorrectly identifying people with darker skin. Ongoing protests following the death of George Floyd have focused attention on racial injustice in the US and how police use technology to track people.

Also, Read Amazon blocks sale of Rekognition facial recognition tool to Police for 1 year

Microsoft, Amazon, and IBM are calling on Congress to set national rules over how police use facial recognition, something that’s now being considered as part of a police reform package sparked by the protests following Floyd’s death.

If all of 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.

Smith reportedly said

IBM, Amazon, and Microsoft are well known for their development of artificial intelligence, including face recognition software, but none of these three companies are actually a major player in selling such technology to police. Major players include NEC, Gemalto, and Idemia.

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

said Matt Cagle, an attorney with the ACLU of Northern California

Facial recognition systems have been previously criticized in the US after research by the Government Accountability Office found that FBI algorithms were inaccurate 14 percent of the time, as well as being more likely to misidentify black people. So what is your take on this decision of the tech companies? Do mention your valuable views in the comment section below. For more news on tech and cybersecurity stay tuned at Android Rookies by subscribing to our newsletter from here

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