READ: Microsoft President Brad Smith Warns of Privacy Concerns Related to Rise of Facial Recognition Software in Law Enforcement

“All tools can be used for good or ill.”

Specifically, Smith called on the government to consider: whether law enforcement use of facial recognition, as in China, should be subject to human oversight and restrictions; whether civilians should be part of that oversight; what might prevent facial recognition from being used in racial profiling; whether retailer should have to post notices about facial recognition technology, as they do about security cameras; and several other related questions.

As Smith was quick to point out, Microsoft isn’t the only company dealing with this issue. Salesforce and Amazon have also been the focus of shareholder pressure and boycotts regarding relationships with ICE, and Facebook came under fire in an April lawsuit alleging that it turned on face-matching services without asking users first. But Microsoft is the first to call for a “bipartisan and expert commission” to take regulatory action.

With a divided Congress in the midst of hearings about what Facebook does or does not owe to its users and the republic, however, Microsoft may have to wait its turn.

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