Microsoft Announced a Prohibition on Sale of Face Recognition Technology

Microsoft joined Amazon and IBM to ban the sale of face recognition technology to the U.S. police departments.

In his statement Brad Smith, the President of Microsoft, said that the ban will remain in effect until federal laws governing the use of the technology are passed.

Earlier, Amazon announced a prohibition on sale of face recognition technology to police departments. The official statement said that the company would insist on “stricter rules governing the ethical use of face recognition technology”.

Actions of the two largest companies coincided with those of IBM. The statement of Arvind Krishna, the CEO of IBM, said that the company will no longer offer software for face recognition or analysis of received information on face recognition, as this is a violation of fundamental human rights and does not comply with the company’s values and principles.

One of the main arguments against the use of face recognition technology by the police is the lack of citizens’ consent to registration of their biometric data by law enforcement authorities. Civil liberties activists claim that the technology is imperfect and could lead to wrongful detention or arrest.

Face recognition technology has also been heavily criticized after the outbreak of COVID-19, the technology was actively used to track and identify people who have come into contact with COVID-19 patients.