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Microsoft: It would be cruel to stop government agencies using facial recognition software

Microsoft: It would be cruel to stop government agencies using facial recognition software
Microsoft



Microsoft President Brad Smith told Business Insider that it would be "cruel" to stop government agencies from using facial recognition software.




It follows activists writing to Microsoft, Amazon, and Google last month demanding they stop selling facial recognition software to the public sector.




Smith said prohibiting sales could halt good work, such as diagnosing rare diseases.




He has, however, called for regulation of facial recognition tech to prevent things like bias and discrimination.



A top Microsoft executive has said that stopping government agencies from using facial recognition software would be "cruel in its humanitarian effect."
More than 85 human rights groups wrote to Microsoft, Amazon, and Google last month demanding they stop selling facial recognition software to the public sector, fearing it will lead to government surveillance.
Business Insider asked Brad Smith, Microsoft's president and chief legal officer, about the letter at the World Economic Forum in Davos.
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