Denying govt agencies facial recognition tech would be ‘cruel’, claims Microsoft president

Microsoft’s chief shot down calls to cease promoting facial recognition tech to governments, saying it would be “cruel” to deprive state agencies of the flexibility to watch the general public’s each transfer – regardless of his personal misgivings.

More than 85 human rights teams wrote to Microsoft, Amazon and Google in January urging them to cease promoting facial recognition software program to authorities agencies over fears of state surveillance and the potential risk to activists, immigrants and others.

However, Microsoft President Brad Smith told Business Insider – apparently with none irony – that such a transfer would itself be “cruel in its humanitarian effect.”

“I do not understand an argument that companies should avoid all licensing to any government agency for any purpose whatsoever,” he stated on the World Economic Forum in Davos final week.

“A sweeping ban on all government use clearly goes too far,” the software program big’s president added.

While Smith went on to quote the instance of facial recognition being utilized in analysis to diagnose the uncommon DiGeorge syndrome, he additionally referred to it getting used to search out lacking kids in India. Unfortunately for Smith, this latter declare is definitely contradicted by the Delhi High Court, which final week slammed the system as a result of it had “not borne any results” or “helped in cracking any missing children case.”

Privacy advocates and civil liberties teams worry facial recognition software program will be used to watch or observe individuals, and are involved that it may erroneously determine somebody as a suspect, to not point out that it has been proven to exhibit racial biases.

Activists urging tech firms to not promote software program to governments level out that the “break then fix” methodology sometimes favored by tech giants merely doesn’t work. 

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