In a letter to U.S. lawmakers on Monday, IBM said it would pull out of GM’s facial recognition business and expressed opposition to the use of the technology for mass surveillance and racial profiling,media Axios reported. Facial recognition software has been controversial for a variety of reasons, including potential human rights violations and evidence that it is less accurate in identifying people of color.
“IBM no longer provides generic IBM facial recognition or analysis software,” CEO Arvind Krishna said in the letter. “IBM strongly opposes and will not condone the use of any technology, including facial recognition technology provided by other vendors, for the purpose of mass surveillance, racial profiling, violation severity of fundamental human rights and freedoms, or any purpose that is inconsistent with our values and the principles of trust and transparency.” “
An IBM representative told Axios that the decisions had been made over several months and had been communicated to customers, but that it was the first time the company had publicly mentioned the decision. IBM said it would “no longer market, sell or update these products” but would support existing customers as needed.
The letter also includes Krishna’s legislative proposals on police reform and the responsible use of technology. FOR EXAMPLE, ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE CAN PLAY A ROLE IN LAW ENFORCEMENT, BUT IT SHOULD BE REVIEWED TO ENSURE IT DOES NOT CONTAIN BIAS, IBM SAID. IBM has also called for stricter federal laws on police misconduct.
“Congress should bring more cases of police misconduct to the jurisdiction of federal courts, and it should amend the principle of limited immunity, which prevents individuals from seeking damages if the police violate their constitutional rights,” Krishna said. “Congress should also establish a federal police misconduct register and take steps to encourage or compel states and localities to review and update policies on the use of force.” “