Technology executives are requesting the government to provide them advice on how to utilize the facial recognition technologies, and now the American Civil Liberties Union is weighing in.
On the heels of a Microsoft statement requesting for the federal government to weigh in on the technology, the ACLU has called for a moratorium on the use of the technology by government agencies.
ACLU legislative counsel, Neema Singh Guliani mentioned in a statement, “Congress should take immediate action to put the brakes on this technology with a moratorium on its use, given that it has not been fully debated and its use has never been explicitly authorized.” She also said, “And companies like Microsoft, Amazon, and others should be heeding the calls from the public, employees, and shareholders to stop selling face surveillance technology to governments.”
In May the ACLU published a report on Amazon’s sale of facial recognition technology to several law enforcement agencies. And in June the civil liberties group pressed the company to halt vending the technology. One contract, with the Orlando Police Department, was suspended and then renewed after the uproar.
Meanwhile, Google employees rebelled over their company’s work with the government on facial recognition tech… and Microsoft had issues of its own after reports surfaced of the work that the company was doing with the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement service.
Few organizations are already working to manage how facial recognition technologies are utilized. Joy Buolamwini has created the Algorithmic Justice League, at MIT, which is pushing a pledge that companies working with the technology can agree to as they work on the tech.
That pledge involves commitments to value human life and dignity, including the refusal to assist in developing lethal autonomous vehicles or furnishing law enforcement with facial analysis products.
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