Date
11 December 2018
Microsoft says it is important for governments to quickly start adopting laws to regulate facial-recognition technology. Photo: Reuters
Microsoft says it is important for governments to quickly start adopting laws to regulate facial-recognition technology. Photo: Reuters

Microsoft again calls for regulation of facial-recognition tech

Microsoft on Thursday announced ethical principles for the use of its facial-recognition technology, saying it would bar such tech from being used to engage in unlawful discrimination, Reuters reports.

The company also said it will encourage customers to be transparent when deploying facial-recognition services.

In a blog post, Microsoft President Brad Smith pushed for urgency in regulating facial-recognition technology, while adding that tech companies should self-regulate too.

“We believe it’s important for governments in 2019 to start adopting laws to regulate this technology. The facial recognition genie, so to speak, is just emerging from the bottle,” he wrote.

Identifying faces has become a common feature in consumer products including Apple’s iPhone, with Amazon and Google offering recognition services as well.

But questions have been raised over the use of such technology.

US civil liberties groups in May called on Amazon to stop offering facial-recognition services to governments, warning that the software could be used to target immigrants and people of color unfairly.

Microsoft said in the blog post Thursday that it will document and communicate the capabilities of the technology, as well as prohibit the use of facial-recognition technology to engage in unlawful discrimination.

The other principles listed were fairness, accountability, notice and consent, and lawful surveillance.

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RC

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