Microsoft wants regulation of facial recognition technology to limit 'abuse'

1 month 4 days 7 hours ago Saturday, July 14 2018 Jul 14, 2018 Saturday, July 14, 2018 3:22:00 PM CDT July 14, 2018 in News
By: Victoria Cavaliere, CNN

   (CNN Money) -- Microsoft has helped innovate facial recognition software. Now it's urging the US government to enact regulation to control the use of the technology.

In a blog post, Microsoft President Brad Smith said new laws are necessary given the technology's "broad societal ramifications and potential for abuse."

He urged lawmakers to form "a government initiative to regulate the proper use of facial recognition technology, informed first by a bipartisan and expert commission."

Facial recognition -- a computer's ability to identify or verify people's faces from a photo or through a camera -- has been developing rapidly. Apple, Google, Amazon and Microsoft are among the big tech companies developing and selling such systems. The technology is being used across a range of industries, from private businesses like hotels and casinos, to social media and law enforcement.

Supporters say facial recognition software improves safety for companies and customers and can help police track police down criminals or find missing children. Civil rights groups warn it can infringe on privacy and allow for illegal surveillance and monitoring. There is also room for error, they argue, since the still-emerging technology can result in false identifications.

The accuracy of facial recognition technologies varies, with women and people of color being identified with less accuracy, according to MIT research.

"Facial recognition raises a critical question: what role do we want this type of technology to play in everyday society?" Smith wrote on Friday.

Smith's call for a regulatory framework to control the technology comes as tech companies face criticism over how they've handled and shared customer data, as well as their cooperation with government agencies.

Last month, Microsoft was scrutinized for its working relationship with US Immigration and Customs Enforcement. ICE had been enforcing the Trump administration's "zero tolerance" immigration policy that separated children from their parents when they crossed the US border illegally. The administration has since abandoned the policy.

Microsoft urges Trump administration to change its policy separating families at border

Microsoft wrote a blog post in January about ICE's use of its cloud technology Azure, saying it could help it "accelerate facial recognition and identification."

After questions arose about whether Microsoft's technology had been used by ICE agents to carry out the controversial border separations, the company released a statement calling the policy "cruel" and "abusive."

In his post, Smith reiterated Microsoft's opposition to the policy and said he had confirmed its contract with ICE does not include facial recognition technology.

Amazon has also come under fire from its own shareholders and civil rights groups over local police forces using its face identifying software Rekognition, which can identify up to 100 people in a single photo.

Some Amazon shareholders coauthored a letter pressuring Amazon to stop selling the technology to the government, saying it was aiding in mass surveillance and posed a threat to privacy rights.

Amazon asked to stop selling facial recognition technology to police

And Facebook is embroiled in a class-action lawsuit that alleges the social media giant used facial recognition on photos without user permission. Its facial recognition tool scans your photos and suggests you tag friends.

Neither Amazon nor Facebook immediately responded to a request for comment about Smith's call for new regulations on face ID technology.

Smith said companies have a responsibility to police their own innovations, control how they are deployed and ensure that they are used in a "a manner consistent with broadly held societal values."

"It may seem unusual for a company to ask for government regulation of its products, but there are many markets where thoughtful regulation contributes to a healthier dynamic for consumers and producers alike," he said.

The-CNN-Wire
™ & © 2018 Cable News Network, Inc., a Time Warner Company. All rights reserved.

More News

Grid
List
(CNN) -- New court documents filed in the case of a Colorado man suspected of killing his pregnant wife and... More >>
9 hours ago Saturday, August 18 2018 Aug 18, 2018 Saturday, August 18, 2018 12:09:31 AM CDT August 18, 2018 in News
WASHINGTON (AP) — It's not just audiotapes. Omarosa Manigault Newman has a stash of video, emails, text messages and... More >>
10 hours ago Friday, August 17 2018 Aug 17, 2018 Friday, August 17, 2018 10:57:37 PM CDT August 17, 2018 in News
WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. health officials on Thursday approved a new generic version of EpiPen, the emergency allergy medication that... More >>
13 hours ago Friday, August 17 2018 Aug 17, 2018 Friday, August 17, 2018 8:10:26 PM CDT August 17, 2018 in News
(CNN) -- The bomb used by the Saudi-led coalition in a devastating attack on a school bus in Yemen was... More >>
13 hours ago Friday, August 17 2018 Aug 17, 2018 Friday, August 17, 2018 7:41:13 PM CDT August 17, 2018 in News
(CNN) -- A judge has ordered a mental evaluation for the man accused of starting the Holy Fire that has... More >>
14 hours ago Friday, August 17 2018 Aug 17, 2018 Friday, August 17, 2018 7:14:03 PM CDT August 17, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — An ethics panel says there's reason to believe that former Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens broke the... More >>
15 hours ago Friday, August 17 2018 Aug 17, 2018 Friday, August 17, 2018 5:43:44 PM CDT August 17, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - A community Facebook post on a Jefferson City page said a student got dropped off at the... More >>
16 hours ago Friday, August 17 2018 Aug 17, 2018 Friday, August 17, 2018 5:22:00 PM CDT August 17, 2018 in News
BRANSON (AP) — A former employee of a southwestern Missouri paddlewheel tourist boat alleges in a lawsuit that he suffered... More >>
16 hours ago Friday, August 17 2018 Aug 17, 2018 Friday, August 17, 2018 4:36:01 PM CDT August 17, 2018 in News
LINN- Forbes Magazine named State Technical College of Missouri as the third best two-year trade school in the country. ... More >>
17 hours ago Friday, August 17 2018 Aug 17, 2018 Friday, August 17, 2018 3:44:00 PM CDT August 17, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA (AP) — The Islamic Center of Central Missouri in Columbia is finally moving forward with an expansion project after... More >>
18 hours ago Friday, August 17 2018 Aug 17, 2018 Friday, August 17, 2018 2:37:00 PM CDT August 17, 2018 in Top Stories
HOLTS SUMMIT - The Daniel Boone Regional Library is a step closer to expanding its reach into Holts Summit. It... More >>
18 hours ago Friday, August 17 2018 Aug 17, 2018 Friday, August 17, 2018 2:36:00 PM CDT August 17, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY — Charles Juden, director of the Department of Public Safety, will step down at the end of August.... More >>
20 hours ago Friday, August 17 2018 Aug 17, 2018 Friday, August 17, 2018 12:59:00 PM CDT August 17, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY — Federal prosecutors announced Friday the indictment of a Fulton man for trying to engage in sexual activity... More >>
20 hours ago Friday, August 17 2018 Aug 17, 2018 Friday, August 17, 2018 12:35:00 PM CDT August 17, 2018 in News
INDEPENDENCE, Mo. (AP) — A 48-year-old Missouri man who stabbed his wife to death while their three children hid in... More >>
23 hours ago Friday, August 17 2018 Aug 17, 2018 Friday, August 17, 2018 10:12:00 AM CDT August 17, 2018 in News
CAMDENTON, Mo. (AP) — The Missouri State Highway patrol says a 33-year-old man died after he was thrown from a... More >>
1 day ago Friday, August 17 2018 Aug 17, 2018 Friday, August 17, 2018 7:45:00 AM CDT August 17, 2018 in News
MOBERLY - The Moberly Police Department responded to an armed robbery at the Break Time convenience store on U.S. Highway... More >>
1 day ago Friday, August 17 2018 Aug 17, 2018 Friday, August 17, 2018 7:35:00 AM CDT August 17, 2018 in News
TUSCUMBIA (AP) — The trial of a 59-year-old man facing a capital murder charge in the 1984 death of a... More >>
1 day ago Friday, August 17 2018 Aug 17, 2018 Friday, August 17, 2018 4:23:00 AM CDT August 17, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Ninety-one people have died in impaired driving accidents so far in 2018. The Missouri Coalition for... More >>
1 day ago Friday, August 17 2018 Aug 17, 2018 Friday, August 17, 2018 4:00:00 AM CDT August 17, 2018 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 73°
10am 79°
11am 82°
12pm 85°
1pm 86°