Facial Recognition

Regional News • Europe • Austria
Austria starts regular operation of facial recognition technology

After an approximately one-year trial period the facial recognition system of the Ministry of the Interior of Austria has went into regular operation.

According to the ministry the system has been used 581 times so far and 83 criminal suspects have been identified by the software.

Regional News • Americas • United States
Facial-recognition technology banned by Boston City Council
Flat Recognition Facial Face Woman System
Flat Recognition Facial Face Woman System Credit: teguhjatipras

The City Council in Boston has, in a unanimous vote, banned the usage of facial-recognition technology by the police. Councilor Ricardo Arroyo has stated that "It puts Bostonians at risk for misidentification", which is the reason why the technology has not been in use previous to the ban. The second Councilor, Michelle Wu, who co-authored the order with Arroyo said that "Boston should not be using racially discriminatory technology" as a study by the MIT found that facial recognition technology has a racial bias against people with darker skin.

Technology • Internet & Web
Microsoft: No facial recognition software without a legal basis
Brad Smith
Brad Smith Credit: Microsoft (Creative Commons Attribution 3.0)

After IBM and Amazon, Microsoft has now announced that it no longer wants to make facial recognition software available to the US police.

The basis for further cooperation can only be a legal framework based on human rights.

The reason for the temporary interruption of the cooperation is seen in the criticism that was given in the context of the demonstrations surrounding the death of George Floyd.

"We will not sell facial recognition tech to police in the U.S. until there is a national law in place," said Brad Smith, Microsoft's president ,speaking via video conference at a Washington Post event.

Technology • Internet & Web
Amazon puts one year halt on usage of its facial recognition software for police over alleged racial bias
Logo Amazon
Logo Amazon Credit: Amazon

Amazon has announced that it will put a one year halt on the usage of its facial recognition software for the police. The move comes after Amazon's technology had faced criticism because it misidentified people of color and protests against racism have broken out over the country. In its announcement blog Amazon says that other organizations could still use the software "to help rescue human trafficking victims and reunite missing children with their families" and calls for government regulation regarding "the ethical use of facial recognition technology".

Technology • Internet & Web
IBM announces that it will stop working on facial recognition technology

The IBM CEO Arvind Krishna has announced in a letter to the US Congress that IBM will no longer offer software for general-purpose facial recognition and analysis. In addition to not selling the software, IBM will stop developing or researching such technology. In the letter, Krishna stated that "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"