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OPLIN 4Cast #703: Big tech denies facial recognition to police, but is that enough?

Posted in 4cast, and facial recognition

Last updated on November 24, 2020

Last week, IBM sent shockwaves through the tech world when it announced that it was leaving the facial recognition market entirely. The reasons cited centered around human privacy rights, racial profiling and the use of the technology for mass surveillance. It’s also no secret that facial recognition tech is rife with bias. It’s certainly becoming far more controversial, as Silicon Valley and legislators struggle with the far-reaching ramifications of facial recognition.

  • Amazon’s facial recognition moratorium has major loopholes [TechCrunch] “But the statement did not say if the moratorium would apply to the federal government, the source of most of the criticism against Amazon’s facial recognition technology. Amazon also did not say in the statement what action it would take after the yearlong moratorium expires.”
  • Microsoft bans face-recognition sales to police as Big Tech reacts to protests [Reuters] “Matt Cagle, an attorney with the American Civil Liberties Union of Northern California, said, ‘When even the makers of face recognition refuse to sell this surveillance technology because it is so dangerous, lawmakers can no longer deny the threats to our rights and liberties.'”
  • Tech companies push for nationwide facial recognition law. Now comes the hard part [CNN] “Some of the companies have said they want to help with crafting the legislation. But that has critics of the tech industry worried. They believe companies could try to seek the moral high ground on the one hand while simultaneously using their substantial lobbying power to push for light-touch policies that benefit its financial interests.”
  • Policing Reform Bill Would Prohibit Embedding Facial Recognition in Body Cameras [NextGov] “In the midst of ongoing, historic protests occurring across the nation in part over police brutality and use of lethal force against unarmed civilians, four congressional Democrats introduced a law enforcement reform bill that would require federal, state and local officers to wear body cameras but restrict the use of facial recognition technology.”

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