Earlier this week, IBM stated it would no longer offer facial recognition software or services for sale to law enforcement. Without much hesitation thereafter, many of IBM’s most notable peers quickly followed suit. Amazon announced a one year moratorium on any sale of its Rekognition service to police. The following day saw Microsoft make a similar announcement, saying that until federal legislation is enacted to regulate the use of facial recognition technology by law enforcement, it will not sell its version of the service either. The following article offers up more detail and insight on what and why the tech giants are thinking about here.
(Reuters) – Microsoft Corp (MSFT.O) said on Thursday it would await federal regulation before selling facial recognition technology to police, making it the latest big firm to back away from the business following protests against law enforcement brutality and bias.
The announcement came shortly after rival Amazon.com Inc (AMZN.O) declared it was pausing police use of its “Rekognition” service for a year and International Business Machines Corp (IBM.N) said it no longer offers the software generally.
In a statement, Microsoft said it has worked on enacting principles and legislation for the software’s use.
“We do not sell our facial recognition technology to U.S. police departments today, and until there is a strong national law grounded in human rights, we will not sell this technology to police,” the company said. The Washington Post first reported the news.