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

1 year 2 days 20 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
COLUMBIA - Boone County deputies arrested a Columbia man who pleaded guilty to trespassing at two area schools. Kelvin... More >>
1 hour ago Wednesday, July 17 2019 Jul 17, 2019 Wednesday, July 17, 2019 3:53:35 PM CDT July 17, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA – Day two of the MU-Beagle Freedom Project continued today in Boone County Circuit Court. Money is at... More >>
1 hour ago Wednesday, July 17 2019 Jul 17, 2019 Wednesday, July 17, 2019 3:40:00 PM CDT July 17, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - MFA Inc. is shutting the doors to five of its Agri Service centers, including locations in Columbia and... More >>
3 hours ago Wednesday, July 17 2019 Jul 17, 2019 Wednesday, July 17, 2019 1:25:00 PM CDT July 17, 2019 in News
BOONE COUNTY - The Missouri State Highway Patrol identified the driver in a deadly crash Wednesday as 32-year-old Antoinette Knight... More >>
8 hours ago Wednesday, July 17 2019 Jul 17, 2019 Wednesday, July 17, 2019 8:51:00 AM CDT July 17, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - Mizzou football player Tre Williams will serve two years unsupervised probation after he pleaded guilty to peace disturbance.... More >>
8 hours ago Wednesday, July 17 2019 Jul 17, 2019 Wednesday, July 17, 2019 8:25:00 AM CDT July 17, 2019 in News
ST. JAMES — Local businesses have come together to support the St. James youth football team after someone broke into... More >>
18 hours ago Tuesday, July 16 2019 Jul 16, 2019 Tuesday, July 16, 2019 10:25:00 PM CDT July 16, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA — The Missouri State Emergency Management Agency requested Tuesday that the Federal Emergency Management Agency expand the federal disaster... More >>
22 hours ago Tuesday, July 16 2019 Jul 16, 2019 Tuesday, July 16, 2019 7:18:00 PM CDT July 16, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA — A stolen vehicle case turned into a chase across multiple counties for Callaway County deputies. In a... More >>
22 hours ago Tuesday, July 16 2019 Jul 16, 2019 Tuesday, July 16, 2019 6:29:00 PM CDT July 16, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - The summer months are a busy time for air conditioning companies, but especially this week with excessive heat... More >>
23 hours ago Tuesday, July 16 2019 Jul 16, 2019 Tuesday, July 16, 2019 5:27:00 PM CDT July 16, 2019 in News
SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (AP) — Missouri State volleyball coach Melissa Stokes has been placed on paid administrative leave while the university... More >>
1 day ago Tuesday, July 16 2019 Jul 16, 2019 Tuesday, July 16, 2019 2:31:00 PM CDT July 16, 2019 in News
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Police say a semitrailer's computer data says it was going above the speed limit when it slammed... More >>
1 day ago Tuesday, July 16 2019 Jul 16, 2019 Tuesday, July 16, 2019 10:48:00 AM CDT July 16, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA — Columbia police officers are working with the city’s park rangers to increase patrols in city parks after several... More >>
1 day ago Tuesday, July 16 2019 Jul 16, 2019 Tuesday, July 16, 2019 10:08:00 AM CDT July 16, 2019 in Top Stories
STURGEON- The annual Boone County Fair kicks off Tuesday, and will host a variety of events from Tuesday to Saturday,... More >>
1 day ago Tuesday, July 16 2019 Jul 16, 2019 Tuesday, July 16, 2019 9:56:00 AM CDT July 16, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - The National Weather Service is predicting the heat index to get up to 109 degrees Wednesday. Columbia... More >>
1 day ago Tuesday, July 16 2019 Jul 16, 2019 Tuesday, July 16, 2019 9:46:00 AM CDT July 16, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) — Former Missouri swimming coach Greg Rhodenbaugh is no longer working for the university and a Title... More >>
1 day ago Tuesday, July 16 2019 Jul 16, 2019 Tuesday, July 16, 2019 9:13:00 AM CDT July 16, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA — A drug bust by Moniteau County deputies ended with one suspect in the hospital on suspicion of a... More >>
1 day ago Monday, July 15 2019 Jul 15, 2019 Monday, July 15, 2019 9:32:00 PM CDT July 15, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA — Maries County deputies arrested Cheryl “Lynn” Fales and Charles R. Fales, of St James for two counts of... More >>
1 day ago Monday, July 15 2019 Jul 15, 2019 Monday, July 15, 2019 8:07:00 PM CDT July 15, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA — The City of Columbia Water & Light will be holding a public meeting Wednesday from 6 to 7:30... More >>
1 day ago Monday, July 15 2019 Jul 15, 2019 Monday, July 15, 2019 6:32:00 PM CDT July 15, 2019 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 93°
6pm 91°
7pm 90°
8pm 85°
9pm 83°