Technology 2 min read

IBM Wants Face Recognition Technology Regulated



In a recent white paper, IBM called for a “precise regulation” of face recognition technology. Instead of banning the technology outright, the tech giant advocates limiting its potentially harmful use.

Recently, facial recognition technology has become a topic for hot debate.

The Chinese government has been using the technology to profile protestors at the civil uprising in Hong Kong. Also, a recent security flaw in a facial recognition company, SenseNets, reportedly exposed the data of millions of people.

Earlier in the year, news of law enforcement agencies misusing Amazon’s Rekognition also made the news.

For these reasons and more, Face recognition technology has led to uneasy feelings among potential users. Legislators in San Francisco already voted to ban the technology altogether.

Now the big tech companies – Microsoft, Amazon, IBM – are working to allay these fears. Introducing a federal facial recognition law could do just that.

How the Face Recognition Technology Should Be Regulated

According to IBM, specific applications of the technology, such as racial profiling and mass surveillance, should remain off-limit. Instead, we could focus on facial recognition technology’s potential for good.

For example, the whitepaper points out that the tech could be instrumental in identifying natural disaster victims.

IBM also suggests that tech companies have a crucial responsibility too. It says, companies “must be accountable for ensuring they don’t facilitate human rights abuses by deploying technologies such as facial matching in regimes known for human rights violations.”

Finally, the tech giant called for three policies that are ready to be implemented

IBM’s Proposed Face Recognition Technology Policies

1. Notice and Consent

The tech giant recommends a regulation that requires notice and consent before subjecting people to facial recognition authentication.

2. Implementing Export Control

This policy is supposed to restrict the sales of facial matching technology. In this case, it includes the kind of facial matching that law enforcement agencies can use to pick up criminals out of a crowd.

3. Regular Transparency

Finally, IBM suggests that the policies should mandate law enforcement agencies to disclose the use of facial recognition technology. Also, they had to publish a regular transparency report too.

The term “facial recognition” includes various types of technologies serving different purposes. Banning all technologies under this term would keep the U.S. behind the rest of the world, the tech giant argues.

Read More: France to Implement a Nationwide Facial Recognition ID System

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Sumbo Bello

Sumbo Bello is a creative writer who enjoys creating data-driven content for news sites. In his spare time, he plays basketball and listens to Coldplay.

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