Microsoft won't sell facial-recognition tech to police

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June 11 (UPI) -- Microsoft announced Thursday that it won't sell its facial-recognition technology to police departments until there are regulations on its use.

The company's president, Brad Smith, announced the decision during a Washington Post Live event.

"We will not sell facial-recognition technology to police departments in the United States until we have a national law in place, grounded in human rights, that will govern this technology," he said.

With the announcement, Microsoft joins other companies, including Amazon and IBM, that have agreed not to give law enforcement access to their technology. It also comes as protesters rally against police brutality and racial profiling.

Studies have shown that some facial-recognition technology misidentifies people of color more often than it does people who are white, CNN reported.

"The bottom line for us is to protect the human rights of people as this technology is deployed," Smith said.

A Pew survey in September found that a majority of Americans -- 56 percent -- trust law enforcement agencies at least somewhat to use facial technology responsibly.

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