IBM Stops Facial Recognition
Tech-giant IBM has decided to stop giving its facial recognition technology for racial profiling. This came after the death of George Floyd and came because of racism. Due to this, people in the US are shocked by the incident, and many other US MNCs are taking important steps from their side. IBM thinks that technology is not fir for mass surveillance at the moment. Moreover, this comes after Amazon suspended police use of their face recognition technology Rekognition for one year.
What IBM Chief Executive Has To Say
IBM chief executive Arvind Krishna made some clarification about their stance through his letter to the Congress. He said,
“IBM firmly opposes and will not condone the uses of any technology, including facial recognition technology offered by other vendors, for mass surveillance, racial profiling, violations of basic human rights and freedoms. We believe now is the time to begin a national dialogue on whether and how facial recognition technology should be employed by domestic law enforcement agencies”.
Alternatives Proposed By IBM
IBM has given the strong opposition to the prevailing racism in the country. They have also proposed an alternative to facial recognition. They suggested that instead of using biased facial recognition technology for policing, Congress should use technology like body cameras on police officers and data analytics which are more transparent in nature. IBM has more specialization in Data Analytics instead of face recognition. However, even that has received criticism for bias.
Criticism Against IBM
Privacy International’s Eva Blum-Dumontet has accused IBM of being the driving force behind biased policing. She said,
“All around the world, they pushed a model or urbanization. It relied on CCTV cameras and sensors processed by police forces. Thanks to the smart policing platforms, IBM was selling them. This is why is it is very cynical for IBM to now turn around and claim they want a national dialogue about the use of technology in policing. IBM is trying to redeem themselves. Because they have been instrumental in developing the technical capabilities of the police through the development of so-called smart policing techniques. But let’s not be fooled by their latest move.”