IBM No Longer In Facial Recognition Business

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IBM has decided to shut down the development of its general purpose facial recognition and analysis software products and called for responsible use of technology by law enforcement, IBM CEO Arvind Krishna reportedly wrote in a letter to the U.S. Congress.

Krishna, who was promoted to CEO in April, noted that IBM opposes uses of any technology, including facial recognition technology offered by other vendors, for mass surveillance, racial profiling, violations of basic human rights and freedoms.

He urged the Congress to enact policy reforms to advance racial equality and combat systemic racism. Congress should also establish a federal registry of police misconduct and adopt measures to encourage or compel states and localities to review and update use-of-force policies, he added.

IBM is looking to work with Congress focused initially in three key policy areas: police reform, responsible use of technology, and broadening skills and educational opportunities.

This move comes on the back of the tragic deaths of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor and many others to show that the fight against racism is as urgent as ever.

Most recently, Floyd died on Memorial Day after he was pinned down by a white Minneapolis police officer by kneeling on his neck for nearly nine minutes. The 46-year-old African American's death sparked widespread outrage and protests in Minneapolis and across the U.S.

Meanwhile, Minneapolis City Council has agreed to dismantle the city's police forces entirely in the aftermath of the death of George Floyd in police custody.

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