Microsoft will not sell its facial recognition technology to police departments in the US until there is a federal law regulating its use, the company’s president, Brad Smith told the Washington Post yesterday. "We do not sell facial recognition technology to police departments in the United States today. But I do think this is a moment in time that really calls on us to listen more, to learn more, and most importantly, to do more. Given that, we’ve decided that we will not sell facial recognition to police departments in the United States until we have a national law in place ground in human rights that will govern this technology," Smith said. Until then, the company will "put in place some additional review factors so that we’re looking into other potential uses of the technology that goes even beyond what we already have". This comes amid protests across the United States against police violence and racial profiling, and a day after Amazon halted police use of its controversial facial recognition system, Rekognition, for a year. It also comes a few days after IBM announced that it will stop offering “general-purpose facial recognition and analysis software”. However, Microsoft's decision is more aligned towards Amazon's stance, wherein, it's calling for regulation around it, and not entirely ruling out the possibility of selling the technology to the police. Also, both these companies have only committed to halting the sale of the tech to police in the US, suggesting that they can sell it to law enforcement agencies…
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