IBM closes its facial recognition sector

IBM CEO Arvind Krishna just announced that they will no longer sell facial recognition services, and in fact went further: he asked to talk about whether such solutions should be used.

He also expressed support for a new bill aimed at reducing police violence.

In a letter IBM has confirmed that it strongly opposes and does not tolerate the use of any facial recognition technology offered by other vendors, for mass surveillance, racial profiling, violations of human rights and basic freedoms. He comments that they have principles of trust and transparency that prevent the development of this type of technology, and they are sure that no one should use them without first starting a national dialogue on whether and how national agencies should use facial recognition technology.

On the one hand, we must bear in mind that we are talking about a technology still in its birth, with few real applications and a very poor business model. There are few applications in which an enterprise provider like IBM makes sense, and the competition (Amazon) has already been criticized for the lack of quality of the existing solutions in that sector.

Apparently IBM will continue to work with Artificial Intelligence and body cameras, but limits the use of facial recognition in relation to them. Provide grants for hardware, but only if used under publicly listed and developed protocols.

It is not the only organization that thinks this way. The ACLU already commented at the time that we need to invest in technologies that can help bridge the digital divide, not in technologies that create a surveillance infrastructure that exacerbates police abuse and structural racism.

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