Microsoft has become the third major tech company to announce it will not sell facial recognition technology to police.
In the wake of George Floyd’s death, the US has been gripped by mass protests, with protesters, civil rights leaders, critics and politicians alike calling for police and social justice reform. Companies are also taking a fresh look at how the technology they invent is being used by police.
IBM was the first major company to announce a moratorium on selling facial recognition software to police, with Amazon quickly following suit. Now Microsoft has made a similar announcement.
“We will not sell facial-recognition technology to police departments in the United States until we have a national law in place, grounded in human rights, that will govern this technology,” company president Brad Smith told The Washington Post.
IBM and Amazon likewise called on government to better regulate the technology. Facial recognition software is particularly vulnerability to abuse, as studies have shown it struggles to be unbiased when factoring in age, race and sex.
While the government has yet to put strong safeguards in place, it seems tech companies are now self-regulating to an unprecedented degree.