The company leading the charge on protecting civil rights from technological abuse is… Microsoft?!
Microsoft President Brad Smith delivered some surprisingly principled news about his company while speaking at Stanford University on Tuesday. Recently, Smith said that Microsoft declined to sell its facial recognition technology to both a California law enforcement agency and an unnamed capital city because of human rights concerns, according to Reuters.
That’s in contrast to Amazon, which defends its contracts with law enforcement agencies that use its Rekognition software, and has sought to discredit an ACLU study that showed racial bias in Rekognition. The ACLU study and others have found that facial recognition AI is less accurate at identifying women and minorities than white men. Because of this bias, Smith said that use by law enforcement could disproportionately harm these groups.
“Anytime they pulled anyone over, they wanted to run a face scan,” Smith said. “We said this technology is not your answer.”
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