Several developments in the Facial Recognition arena. The big starting point is that IBM is ditching Facial Recognition.
In a letter to members of Congress, IBM CEO Arvind Krishna said the company would no longer make general-purpose facial recognition and analysis software, citing concerns about the technology’s use by law enforcement agencies. He clarified that IBM “firmly opposes” the use of facial recognition “for mass surveillance, racial profiling, violations of basic human rights and freedoms.” The letter also outlined various efforts the company would take in response to ongoing anti-police brutality demonstrations, such as endorsing a federal registry for police misconduct.
IBM wasn’t super specific in its announcement. However, a person familiar with the matter said that IBM will limit itself to the development of visual object detection and will no longer make APIs that could be used to power facial recognition available to outside or internal developers. The company would not comment further.
Meanwhile the next day (June 12) we have announcements from Amazon and Microsoft
- Amazon and Microsoft announced on Wednesday and Thursday, respectively, moratoria on police use of their facial recognition technology, amid a call for federal regulation of the controversial technology. Amazon’s moratorium is for one year, while Microsoft said its moratorium is indefinite until laws are in place.
- In a short statement, Amazon said it would continue to make Rekognition available to groups like Thorn, the International Center for Missing and Exploited Children and Marinus Analytics to help the victims of human trafficking and reunite missing children with their families. Microsoft President Brad Smith said any national law should be “grounded in human rights.”
More Information on Facial Recognition in Self-Service