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The issue with facial recognition: Microsoft will investigate the work of the Israeli startup

AnyVision has been subject to scrutiny by Microsoft following reports from the commercial newspaper TheMarker de Haaretz and NBC News that its technology is used to monitor the Palestinians.

The facial recognition technology

Microsoft Corp (MSFT.O) hired former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder to investigate whether the use of facial recognition technology developed by an Israeli startup that financed complies with its ethical principles, the company said Friday.

AnyVision, based in the outskirts of Tel Aviv, has been subject to scrutiny following reports from the commercial newspaper TheMarker de Haaretz and NBC News that its technology is used to monitor Palestinians living in the West Bank.

AnyVision, which denied NBC such use of its services, did not respond to a request for comment.

The investigation reflects a growing concern about surveillance of facial recognition in the United States and elsewhere that, according to civil liberties groups, could lead to unfair arrests and limit freedom of expression.

What are the ethics?

Microsoft announced principles of facial recognition ethics last year, saying that the company “would advocate for safeguards of people’s democratic freedoms in law enforcement surveillance scenarios and will not deploy facial recognition technology in scenarios that we believe they will put in risk these freedoms”.

Microsoft said in a statement that Holder would lead a team at the Covington & Burling law firm to conduct the investigation. Holder, the chief legal officer of the United States under former President Barack Obama, was hired by Uber Technologies Inc (UBER.N) in 2017 to review allegations of sexual harassment.


Also published on Medium.

Published inStartups

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