Radical Decision Against US Management from IBM: We Will No longer Develop Face Recognition Technology


IBM CEO Arvind Krishna, who wrote a letter to the US Congress, said the company will no longer offer general-purpose facial recognition technology or analysis software. The US-based IT giant will no longer develop and research facial recognition technology.

IBM, one of the largest information technology companies in the world, has signed a very important decision. Arvind Krishna, CEO of the New York-based firm, stated in his letter to the US Congress that IBM will no longer develop facial recognition technology or analysis software for general purposes.

As per the Trust and Transparency Principles; Stating that they are against all facial recognition technologies offered for mass surveillance, racial profiling, violation of basic human rights and freedoms or any purpose that is inconsistent with company values, Krishna said, “Now whether and how face recognition technology should be used by local law enforcement agencies. We believe it is time to start a national dialogue. ”

“We should discuss whether facial recognition technology should be used by law enforcement officers.”

Face recognition software has made great progress in the past decade thanks to advancements in artificial intelligence. However, the provision of the technology in question by private companies that are often subject to very little regulation or under the control of federal institutions has caused face recognition software to open the door to human rights violations.

According to the study of the US National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) dated December 2019, there is a wide range of accuracy between demographic differences in most of the facial recognition algorithms used by law enforcement or private firms. This leads to a discussion of the role of technology in privacy and rights violations.

Fear of face recognition software causing privacy and rights violations

NIST’s work did not include the service of Amazon, one of the few major technology companies selling face recognition software to law enforcement. However, the face recognition technology called Rekognition, used by a number of US government agencies, including Florida police and private organizations, has been criticized many times in the light of mass surveillance debates.

IBM published the overall dataset of a face recognition model in 2018 to break the bias and concerns about facial recognition technology, but the company shared another data set of nearly a million photos from Flickr in January 2019 without the consent of users. .

In the statement he made at the time, IBM stated that the data set consisting of public photographs would be accessible only by verified researchers, and said that those who wish could exit the data set. IBM CEO Krishna also stated in his letter that reforms are needed within police agencies and the abuse of facial recognition technology should be observed more tightly.


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