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Microsoft calls for regulation of facial-recognition technology

Microsoft is urging governments to enact laws subsequent 12 months that requires facial-recognition technology to be independently examined to make sure accuracy, forestall unfair bias and defend people’ rights.

“The facial recognition genie, so to speak, is just emerging from the bottle,” Microsoft chief counsel Brad Smith wrote in a blog post printed Thursday. “Unless we act, we risk waking up five years from now to find that facial recognition services have spread in ways that exacerbate societal issues. By that time, these challenges will be much more difficult to bottle back up.”

Smith advocated for human assessment of facial recognition outcomes quite than leaving them to computer systems.

“This includes where decisions may create a risk of bodily or emotional harm to a consumer, where there may be implications on human or fundamental rights, or where a consumer’s personal freedom or privacy may be impinged,” he wrote.

He added that these deploying the technology should “recognize that they are not absolved of their obligation to comply with laws prohibiting discrimination against individual consumers or groups of consumers.”

Facial-recognition technology is often used for on a regular basis duties comparable to like unlocking phones and tagging pals on social media, however privateness considerations persist. Advances in synthetic intelligence and the proliferation of cameras have made it more and more simple to observe and observe what people are doing.

Law enforcement businesses often depend on technology to assist with investigations, however the software program is not with out its flaws. Software utilized by the UK’s Metropolitan Police was reported earlier this 12 months to provide incorrect matches in 98 percent of cases.

Microsoft is not alone in elevating considerations over the technology’s use. In May, the ACLU revealed that Amazon was promoting its facial recognition technology, Rekognition, to law enforcement agencies within the US, together with the Orlando Police Department. An ACLU take a look at of Rekognition in July discovered that the system mistakenly confused 28 congressmen with known criminals.

Smith additionally cautioned authorities use of the technology may encroach on democratic freedoms and human rights.

“When combined with ubiquitous cameras and massive computing power and storage in the cloud, a government could use facial recognition technology to enable continuous surveillance of specific individuals,” Smith wrote.

“We must ensure that the year 2024 doesn’t look like a page from the novel 1984.”

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