IBM to stop developing facial recognition software

The tech giant is opposing the use of the technology for mass surveillance or racial profiling

IBM has stated that it is no longer developeringfacial recognition technology, according to a letter it penned to members of the United States Congress.

The company says that it is not going to offer any software related to facial recognition, and is opposing the use of the technology for mass surveillance or racial profiling.

“IBM firmly opposes and will not condone uses of any technology, including facial recognition technology offered by other vendors, for mass surveillance, racial profiling, violations of basic human rights and freedoms, or any purpose which is not consistent with our values and Principles of Trust and Transparency,” the letter reads.

The tech giant’s decision to exit the facial recognition software business comes as states are calling for police reform following the death of George Floyd.

This is a significant move on IBM’s part, as the company had tested its facial recognition software with the New York Police Department.

Police use of facial recognition has recently come under severe scrutiny in several countries, including Canada. Earlier this year it was revealed that several Canadian police departments, including the RCMP, had used Clearview AI’s facial recognition system.

It’ll be interesting to see if other tech giants will choose to exit the facial recognition business as well given the controversy surrounding the technology.

Source: Reuters